About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.

Bertrand Russell



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 9/19/2017

Totals
Posts - 2452
Comments - 2558
Hits - 1,984,101

Averages
Entries/day - 0.47
Comments/entry - 1.04
Hits/day - 382

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 8:46 PM Pacific


  11:06 PM

A new-ish term and an old one with a surprise.

First, the new one: cuberhood, meaning a collection of cubicles. I heard this during a class the other day, and it was clear from the reaction of others that it was a) new and b) delightful to most of us, given especially that that describes our work environment. Someone who goes by "averageyogini" provides this definition:
For those of you who don’t speak Millennial, the Cuberhood (or Cube Farm, if you prefer that terminology), is the section of cubicles where a particular team or business unit sits in an office building. It’s the Cube Neighborhood, if you will [...]
Not surprisingly, Urban Dictionary has an entry, and someone named Lauren Smith has a fundraising appeal in which she asks you to "Donate $10 and ask your friends, neighbors, family, and cuberhood to donate too!" You can find more examples via web search.

Anyway, a fun term that I suspect will earn some prominence in my work conversations in the next little while.

The second term is tank, as in the military vehicle/mobile cannon. Not a new term at all—it's been around since 1915. But think for a moment: why is a tank called a "tank"? I had never contemplated this question, and was surprised and delighted (a theme today, I guess) to learn its history this evening. Basically, while the tank was under development in Great Britain during World War I, they wanted a cover name for these "landships" or "land cruisers." Per the OED, a memo went round ordering that ...
The provision of these machines [sc. Land Cruisers] shall be entrusted to a small Executive Supply Committee, which, for secrecy, shall be called the 'Tank Supply Committee'.
In other words, as a cover story, they pretended that they were manufacturing water tanks. Somehow, this name managed to stick to the armament even after it was put into service. You can read more in (where else) Wikipedia.

So there's a good lexical start to your Friday. :-)

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