Compiled and edited by Ken Barnes with contributions from members of the Cinemania and Music Central teams, 1995-1998.
Compiler's Note: This lexicon's goal is to provide a representative compilation of slang peculiar to the Microsoft working environment. Every attempt has been made to avoid listing examples of widespread computer or software industry slang or generalized geekspeak. However, it is impossible in many cases to avoid it, since Microspeak borrows from the geekspeak
vocabulary, while elements of Microjargon also penetrate the world outside. Hardcore technological terms have also been avoided where possible in favor of more sociologically oriented terminology.
Getting granular with Microspeak: Working at Microsoft (especially for people who come from journalism and the entertainment industry like many of us at Cinemania and Music Central) is a lot like passing through the looking glass. Microsoft is a distinctive world with a culture (including bizarre customs and rituals) and a language of its own. (Unfortunately, this culture is rapidly becoming more mainstream as the company itself becomes more traditionally corporate and less colorful; "he Suits" are definitely taking over...) For those of us who love words (as opposed to code), Microsoft is a Wonderland of bizarre and exotic terms and phrases, not all of which resemble English as we (used to) know it. I fell down the Redmond rabbit hole in 1994, and Ken Barnes followed shortly thereafter. Ken is a collector -- of music (mostly on vinyl) and of language (mostly on paper) -- and as we discussed the exotic jargon we heard and read in e-mail, he took it upon himself to compile this lexicon as a "living document" guide to himself and others who found themselves strangers in this strange land. That earned him not only a feature story in the MicroNews, the company's corporate newsletter, but the undying respect and admiration of his fellow a-dashes, and even a grudging chuckle of recognition from a few blue badges.
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