May 14th, 2007
In working with non-technical people who are not familiar with all of the different acronyms and codes that are used in the technical world, it is a common challenge to be able to communicate on the most basic level. One example is in setting up email servers.
“In the outgoing mail server field, type in smtp.yourdomain.com.” “Type in what?” “Ess emm tee pee” “Ess emm pee tee?” “No, as in SEND MORE TOILET PAPER” “ohhh”
I’m going to propose the development of a standardized list of alternate, memorable, meanings of acronyms for the non-techie. Why should we explain to them that SMTP means “Simple Mail Transmision Protocol”? I mean, who really cares? Even half of the techie people would have to look it up.
If this development of a standardized list of alternate memorable meanings (SLAMM) takes off, then we can look forward to fewer typos when communicating techie. If you happen to stumble upon this blog entry in your travels, drop a comment and suggest a SLAMM for your most frustrating acronyms.
Here’s a start on suggestions.
- DNS : Drinking Numbs the Shenshes
- IMAP: I Make Armpit Poots
- SMTP: Send More Toilet Paper
I guess the usefulness of SLAMM will be limited to things that people have to communicate verbally. It’ll be fun to work on though, and useful to remind techies that they don’t have to explain the meanings of these cryptic concepts to people, they just have to pass on the data in a fun and friendly way so that they make their audience feel comfortable.