While in IT class, I noticed how deeply Microsoft has penetrated the minds of people. Certain generic terms have been substituted (mostly by classmates) by product names. Sure, I’m being anal, and apart from that the course has been pretty educational, but I think we should be careful with our use of terms, especially when in a learning environment.
Instructor: And when you want to set up a web page, what do you do? You write a program –
Me (interrupting): No, you write a document which you upload to the web server!
[At this point I got overruled because it turns out he was referring to web editing software. Still, you don’t need to use web editing software to write a web page. But I decided to shut up after that.]
Instructor: (continuing to addres the class) “You use Frontpage…”
Aaaaaarrghhh!!! Well, I know most people would’ve heard of Frontpage and therefore would understand his explanation better – although as a professional I still view it as an inferior product. I felt he should have said, you can use either a [generic term] web editing program or even Notepad to write a web page.
Student: So when I want to register a domain name, I go to Singnet or Pacnet or Microsoft … ?
Instructor: And when you want to surf the Internet, what do you use?
Student: You open up your IE!
(Student proceeds to substitute the generic term, ‘web browser’, with IE for the rest of class.)
Student: But don’t most people prefer Windows OS because it is the easiest to use?
Me: (mildly surprised and trying to be polite) No, I think most people prefer Windows because that’s all they’ve ever used. It’s because they’re familiar with it. But if you want something that is really easy to use, I’d go for the Mac OS.
Is it just me being fussy, or is this disturbing? Are geeks like me so far removed from the reality of life (‘MS Life’) that I can no longer speak the same language as other human beings? Has the rest of humanity resolved themselves to the fact that there is no alternative operating system or browser in this world?
Anyway, I’m going for an afternoon session today, followed by the usual jazz piano lesson, so I’d better do some revision now.