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 software product cycle is a little like a pregnancy I suppose. The first few months are easy, even enjoyable. The last few weeks are mostly discomfort and pain. But then, the product is finally "born", and the world suddenly seems to make sense again.

Eric Sink



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 4/21/2017

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Posts - 2424
Comments - 2551
Hits - 1,942,398

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Entries/day - 0.48
Comments/entry - 1.05
Hits/day - 385

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 4:46 AM Pacific


  10:27 PM

It's time for another collection of words I've run across while reading. Ever since I did the first of these posts, the new-to-me terms have been coming at me fast and furious. I have a whole 'nother batch waiting in the wings already.

I apologize in advance that a lot of these terms are unpleasant.

egotarian cuisine. Cuisine based on a chef "seeking to express himself in an incomparable and triumphant manner." Alan Richman, who rolled out the term in an article in GQ, explains that it's not about what patrons want, but about what chefs insist on doing. He includes a checklist that lets you know when you're probably in the presence of egotarian cuisine.

ghosting [a relationship]. To end a relationship by simply disappearing. I ran across this in an article in The New York Times, and then immediately started seeing it in other places (see next term).

Tinderellas. A girl met via Tinder, the meet-up/hook-up app. This unflattering term was used by one of the (jerky) subjects in an article about Tinder in Vanity Fair. The article also mentioned ghosting (see previous term).

redshirting. Timing a baby's birth for maximum advantage. People are said to do this for academic advantage. An article in the New York Post describes this (alleged) practice among Upper East Side couples.

cuckservative. I feel obliged to include this icky term, since it's made a splash recently. This is a combination of cuckold and conservative. Per the article where I first saw this, the term is used by conservatives on the far Right about conservatives who are not doing enough (in the insulters' view) to protect "European-Americans." So the term involves identity politics and a tinge of nativism or racism. Something about the word makes it seem particularly degrading.

Update Aug 13, 2015: Mark Liberman discusses cuckservative on the Language Log.

translucent database. Ok, a nice technical term amongst all these judgmental words, whew. A translucent database is a database in which important data is encrypted, so that the database contains both visible data and opaque data—hence the database is "translucent." This protects data while still allowing useful database functionality like search. It's a neat trick. There's a book by Peter Wayner, who I believe coined the term.

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