Regardless of my cohort Tim Moynihan's beliefs, words mean something, and definitions are usually pretty clear in every field except, let's face it, technology. When tech gets involved, an "icon" ceases to be a conventional religious image and becomes a little graphic on your screen and "boot" means a startup process instead of cowboy footwear.
Global Language Monitor, analyzer of words and publisher of top-10 buzzword lists, today released its Top 10 Most Confusing (yet widely used) High Tech Buzzwords for 2007. Topping the list is the near-ubiquitous but apparently misleading iPod: "What exactly is a 'pod'? A gathering of marine mammals? The encasement for peas?"
Language Monitor uses its Predictive Quantities Indicator, a proprietary algorithm, to track and analyze word usage in the media and online. Other common-but-confusing words that made the list this year and that you're likely to see all over CNET? "Plasma," "cookie," "kernel," "cell," and "Nano."
Most confusing acronym award (because apparently everyone knows what VAIO stands for) goes to "SOA," short for "Service-Oriented Architecture," an acronym so likely to spark a mental question mark that "IBM had to write a book to explain it."