Monday, March 27, 2006

eQuote of the Day

In the past decade people have taken a lot of regular words that would have worked as-is, but because the action took place when using a computer they stuck an 'e' in the front to indicate it was the electronic version. I think it started with electronic mail, email, but these "e-words" have moved forward to include a host of examples such as ebook, ebusiness, e-learning, ecommerce, e-trade...

As part of my job I have to take support calls. Most of them ok, but some are very frustrating. The most frustrating callers are ones that throw all common sense out the window because they have limited experience with computers. These people are unable to perform simple tasks such as unplugging the computer's power cable from the wall socket, or pressing the 'On' button. They simply state they are computer illiterate and stop listening and stop trying. Today I had a caller and all he had to do was read to me the message that appeared on the screen. He kept interrupting me as I asked him to do this with the statement that he is 'computer illiterate', as if this would somehow stop him from READING to me. Ironically, he couldn't even pronounce 'illiterate' correctly. He'd stretch out the sound of first letter i to several times longer than most people would say it. So each time he gave his reason he couldn't read the screen he'd use that funny way of saying it. By the fourth or fifth time I realized he had accidentally just coined his own e-word as he switched his (by now) familiar phrase around and said "When it comes to computers I'm e-illiterate."

Main Entry: e-il·lit·er·ate
Pronunciation: E-(")i(l)-'li-t(&-)r&t
Function: adjective
Etymology: from Latin illiteratus, electronic
1 : A lack of acquaintance with the fundamentals of computer usage.
2 : The inability to read when the text to be read is being displayed on a computer screen.


Megers said...

Too good. I think that one is destined for the dictionary for sure. And man, I am so glad I do not have your job!! MORONS!

Ben said...

I posted it on Wikipedia for you.