Wednesday, January 09, 2008

When A Geek Learns English

When I think about it, it's funny how I usually learn English words the wrong way. Usually people learn the most common meaning of a word first, and then discover the alternative meanings later on. However, having started using computer before I even knew the meaning of "attend", there are many words where I learnt the secondary meaning before its primary meaning.

  • Menu: The bar on top of each program.
  • Surf: To go online and browse web sites.
  • Explorer: Something you use to view your computer's files or the Internet.
  • Desktop: The starting screen of the computer.
  • Folder: A hierarchy of the computer file system where you can use to categorize and organize files.
  • Outlook: Something you use to send or receive email.
  • Macro: A script that could be run with a document or spreadsheet and was a common way of spreading virus.
  • Virtual: Online.
  • Extension: The part of filename after the dot (.exe, .doc etc)
  • Setup: A program used to install software.
By the way, I had no idea setup is actually set-up until I was something like 15 years old. In fact, up till that point, I had always pronounced it as "sir-tube". Oh well.


Ka Lip said...


sir tube?

lol...*no comment*

Anonymous said...

well, i laz time also pronouce sir-duub.

day-dreamer said...

I'm sorry that I can't help but to laugh at your frank confession of pronouncing the word "setup". Haha... :P

Eric Fu said...


Considering our "parallel" development of interest in computer and Internet back in those days, it's weird that I could only relate to a handful of experience that you listed here.

When people say "surf" the Internet those days, I couldn't help but conjuring the halcyon images of people surfing in the sea next to a beach. Perhaps in this context, we are surfing the sea of information :P

I, however, did pronounce setup in the same way as you did for a couple of years!

youngyew said...

Don't lar laugh. Everyone pronounces thing wrongly before once in a while mar. I once heard an angmoh pronounces rendang as rent-dang. :P

Eric: Good on you. :) I guess one of the reasons (for my unique experience) is that I started having contact with computer since standard 1 and started using it regularly since ~standard 4, and then at that time I didn't even know the meaning of an axe yet.