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Cyberjamming (participle n.)

In Technology on 19 March 2009 at 2:59pm

The use of words, acronyms and other expressions of primarily technological origin in everyday speech or conversation without any trace of irony. For example:

  • “When she told me who it was, I just had to LOL”
  • “This car [book, conversation, etc.] is, like, totally fragged”
  • “Fast forward to next week when…”
  • “Facebook me”

    Urinal dispersal function (n.)

    In Bodily Functions on 15 March 2009 at 12:36pm

    The urinal dispersal function, sometimes symbolised as ‘ρ’, is the mathematical function that describes to an arbitrary degree of accuracy the sequence in which men choose the urinal at which to relieve themselves in public conveniences. Values of ρ vary in accordance with the following variables:

    • Number of urinals (n)
    • Number of other urinal users (i)
    • Degree of shyness (s)
    • Urgency of visit (u)

    In normal situations (i.e. those in which s is approximately 0.5 and u tends towards zero), a familiar pattern emerges in which the first attendee occupies the furthermost urinal, the second the one at the opposite end, the third at an equal distance between the first two, and so on until each position is occupied. Further complexities are introduced when u is increased, thereby favouring selection of the closest urinal to the door, and with different values of s, such as with friends who arrive simultaneously  (a relatively rare occurrence) and occupy adjacent urinals. Conversely, where s exceeds 1.0, users may choose to forego the urinals entirely and relieve themselves in the comparative privacy of a toilet cubicle.

    Crapology (n.)

    In Science and Nature on 13 March 2009 at 11:57pm

    Any body of conjecture, surmise or hearsay that is dressed up in the garb of scientific knowledge in the hope of passing it off as fact.

    It is notoriously easy to mistake crapology for genuine science due to its use of common scientific language and idioms. The crucial difference being that in the former case there is no clear way to falsify the relevant claims, or sources of evidence upon which they are based. Other characteristic techniques employed by crapologists include:

    • Quantification: “There are seventeen different ways to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
    • Enumeration: “The branches of the tree are eight: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego.”
    • Scientific jargon: “Vibrational essences contain the energy of the flower, gem, place, animal, etc. from which they are made.”
    • Appeal to authority: “Everyone who has ever looked into this has concluded that it is definitely true.”

    The same is of course true of science itself, much of which may turn to be crapology after all.