You know technology has truly infiltrated our lives when tech terms apply to people. A client recently asked what my bandwidth was. It used to mean how much data could be sent through a network or modem, but now it’s evolved to mean “how much extra time do you have to take on new projects?” In marketing-speak, a customer’s acceptance bandwidth means the amount of time he/she will invest in your marketing message.
The November/December issue of IABC’s Communication World introduced me to sock puppetry, which refers to commenting on blogs using a fake identity.
Buzzwhack is always good for current buzzwords. How about Friendquest, which means asking someone to be a friend or buddy on an online social network. The site also has an IMglish Dictionary, keeping you up to speed on the meaning of all those instant messaging/texting abbreviations. The one that made me LOL: HUB (head up butt).
I first heard the new use of “bandwidth” several years ago, when a technical writer acquaintance said to me “I don’t know if you have the bandwidth for this, but…” and then gave me some news about something that concerned us. I can’t remember the details now, as I did not have the bandwidth to take on that issue at the time, but I do remember being surprised at the use of that very technical word! It’s some comfort to know that new word use can take a long time to reach the masses. Gives me a chance to get used to it, even if I don’t like it.
Oh, technical writers, they are steeped in the lingo all day long! I’m surprised “bandwidth” was the only odd term this person threw at you. (Good to see you back online!)