With the end of the year around the corner it’s no surprise to see a slew of best of lists for 2003, but I didn’t expect to see a top ten lists of words for the year. Blog is the #2 word, which is kind of cool, but not nearly as cool as the amusing “new” words such as bling-bling, stog, tricked out, and “what up?”.
Then there’s the business lingo, with words like ping (I’ll ping you about that issue tomorrow), multitask and off line. I heard a non-technical person use the word ping once and gained a new respect for their technical knowledge until I discovered they had no idea what an ICMP packet was. My respect turned to disappointment and to this day I remain unimpressed with its usage.
Speaking of ping, here’s a tidbit of trivia. The man who wrote the ping program named it after the sound that a sonar makes. On his web site he also includes a review of the book, “The Story About PING” which I loved to read as a child. I’ve mentioned the book several times to friends, but no one had heard of it. It’s as if I have a bond with the beginnings of UNIX networking. Well, sort of…
I’ve used the word “ping” with you before too Dan, but it might interest you that I was using that word back in 1989-1991 while in the Navy. We would use a ping or bang on a pipe with a dog-wrench with one or two hits to confirm something, let someone know we were ready, or start/stop something. That was long before I knew anything about ICMP packets.
I also enjoyed the ping ducky book as a wee lad, but don’t use it too often out of ICMP context. When I was at Novell, an instructor of a course taught us that it was actually an acronym (I don’t remember what it was), but he was probably full of something.
Mike Muus (who wrote the ping utility) addressed that by saying, “From my point of view PING is not an acronym standing for Packet InterNet Grouper, it’s a sonar analogy. However, I’ve heard second-hand that Dave Mills offered this expansion of the name, so perhaps we’re both right.”