November 21st, 2012, 3 Comments »
1029 Internet years ago, in 2003, I started something called the Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness. It compiled “wacky, bizarre, surreal and otherwise strange examples of technical documentation”, collected from my own travels and through user submissions.
I think of the Hall as the first thing I ever created that the Internet liked. It was covered in Boing Boing, and images from the Hall appeared in the great British show, The IT Crowd.
As often happens with Web projects, I moved on to other distractions and a redesign of this site killed the wonky gallery software I was using to run the Hall. It’s been offline for three or four years now.
It occurred to me the other day that Pinterest would make a convenient and reliable new home for the hall. It seems like the natural environment for vaguely-amusing technical drawings and signs. And I found some free time to set up a board and start posting images.
Witness the revival of The Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness, 2012 edition.
“When boxing up your baby, ensure the lid securely fastened.” on Pinterest
I’ve got about 100 images to upload, so I’ll get the rest up over the coming days. New Hall submissions are always welcome.
UPDATE: Eight years later, Boing Boing wrote about the Hall again. Ah, the circle of geeky life.
UPDATE: I meant to credit the Wayback Machine, which managed to preserve my captions.
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January 21st, 2008, 5 Comments »
In writing that last post, I did a quick search for a term I think I invented: dopplenation. The only reference to it I found was this archived message I sent to a technical writing mailing list back in 2001.
It’s a list of slightly-amusing words my colleagues and I invented, or became aware of. I think my favourite is ‘dark matter song’. These are less unfunny ones:
blamestorming – A discussion (which may be at the group, community, or society level) in which members attempt to assign blame for a particular deed.
bogon – A sub-atomic particle that causes software bugs.
completely opposite dialectal difference (CODD) – Applied when a word has opposite meanings depending upon which country or region it is used in. For example, in Britain the verb “to table” means to “add to an agenda” while in North America it means “to remove from consideration indefinitely”.
dark matter song – A song that is so bad that it outweighs the rest of an artist or band’s achievements. For example, “‘Shiny, Happy People’ is totally REM’s dark matter song.”
dissteal – To copy text from an outside source and modify it just enough to make it unrecognizable, thereby avoiding the charge of plagiarism.
dopplenation – The country which represents the world view most opposed to your own. For example, “Man, the rampant socialism of Sweden makes them my dopplenation.”
quadriquintecimate – To reduce by four-fifths (unfortunately, that was a reference to our stock options).
ping release – A marginal press release that, while containing little or no real news, insinuates the continued existence of the company. For example, “We’ll make a ping release regarding the new VP–it’s been weeks since we’ve been in the press.”
revector – To change priority or direction, particularly in terms of corporate vision. For example, “our stock is worth pennies, we really need to revector!”
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