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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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I’m a big fan of words, especially nouns, and I am fascinated by the ways in which the English language evolves. It’s said that there are over 600,000 words in English and that the biggest lexical machine is science. I think technology coins a number of neologisms as well and that’s the field with which I’m most familiar.

I stumbled today on some new jargon from Jeffrey Veen on the subject of information architecture—I especially like “boil the ocean.” Way back when, I used to eagerly wait for the new issue of Wired so that I could check out Gareth Branwyn’s Jargon Watch column, highlighting the hippest jargon.

They’re so descriptive and apt, yet oh so ephemeral. In fact, I’d say that—by and large—not a single one chronicled by Branwyn ever outlasted the dot-com boom. Hip, fresh, and clever, they harken back to a completely different era—the heady times of the Web becoming mainstream. It’s good to see that tech people are still coining.