Presto Computers and whatever sources this stuff is stolen from bring you the

Dictionary of Modern Office Terminology

... and if it ain't here --and much ain't-- check The Jargon Dictionary
and also I'm starting a Dictionary of Abbreviations.

Clueless -- from the World Wide Web error message, "404 Not Found", meaning a requested document couldn't be located. "Don't bother asking him, he's 404".

The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

Details you'll need some day, without which you can't get off the listserv, or can't get into the parking lot at the other plant, or maybe can't get the insiders' deal at your favorite hangout or HMO or web site. Registration numbers for shareware to stop the annoying messages. Stuff like that.

Alpha Geek
The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the Alpha Geek around here."

The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss.

The brief seizure people sometimes suffer when their beepers go off, especially in vibrator mode. Characterized by physical spasms, goofy facial expressions, and stopping speech in mid-sentence.

Big Boing Theory
The expectation that everything will go kaflooey at midnight on December 31, 1999.

Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.

Blowing your Buffer
Losing your train of thought.

Brain Fart
A byproduct of a bloated mind producing information effortlessly. A burst of useful information. "I know you're busy on the Microsoft story, but can you give us a brain fart on the Mitnik bust?" Variation of old hacker slang that had more negative connotations.

A hard-core CGI script programmer with all the social skills and charisma of a plastic action figure.

Chainsaw consultant
An outside expert brought in to reduce the employee headcount, leaving the top brass with clean hands

CLM (Career-Limiting Move)
Used among microserfs to describe an ill-advised activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within earshot is a serious CLM.

Cobweb Site
A World Wide Web Site that hasn't been updated for a long time. A dead web page.

Cube farm
An office filled with cubicles.

Dead Tree Edition
The paper version of a publication available in both paper and electronic forms, as in: "The dead tree edition of the San Francisco Chronicle..."

Decimal doo-doo
Excessive decimal digits generated in conversions between metric anc (formerly) English measurements; an artifact of the conversion and not real precision. For example: sure, 1.000 meter is precisely 39.37 inches, but 1 meter, with no particular precision intended, is about 39 inches. If you say it's 39.37 you are inventing more precision than really exists, and the ".37" part is decimal doo-doo.

To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character. "I've been dilberted again. The old man revised the specs for the fourth time this week."

Dorito Syndrome
Feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction triggered by addictive substances that lack nutritional content. "I just spent six hours surfing the Web, and now I've got a bad case of Dorito Syndrome."

Ego surfing
Scanning the Net, databases, print media, and so on, looking for references to one's own name.

Elvis year
The peak year of something's popularity. "Barney the dinosaur's Elvis year was 1993".

From the adage "It's not a bug, it's a feature." Used sarcastically to describe an unpleasant experience that you wish to gloss over.

Flight Risk
Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to leave the company or department soon.

Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, subdivisions. Used as in "We were so lost in generica that I forgot what city we were in."

Corporate-speak for sleeping with your eyes open. A popular pastime at conferences and early-morning meetings. "Didn't he notice that half the room was glazing by the second session?"

Gray Matter
Older, experienced business people hired by young entrepreneurial firms looking to appear more reputable and established.

Graybar Land
The place you go while you're staring at a computer that's processing something very slowly (while you watch the gray bar creep across the screen). "I was in graybar land for what seemed like hours, thanks to that CAD rendering."

Idea hamsters
People who always seem to have their idea generators running.

Keyboard Plaque
The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found on computer keyboards. "Are there any other terminals I can use? This one has a bad case of keyboard plaque."

Personnel. Also called Meatware.

Mouse Arrest
Busted for violating an ISP's rules of conduct or university's Acceptable Use Policy. "Sorry I couldn't get back to you. AOL put me under mouse arrest."

Mouse potato
The on-line generation's answer to the couch potato.

That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize you've just made a big mistake.

Open-Collar Workers
People who work at home or telecommute. Also called "No-collar workers".

Confusion in communication with various computer operating systems -- an innocuous command in one environment may be disaster in another.

Percussive Maintenance
The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

Acronym: Pressing Lots Of Keys To Abort ... in an attempt to get some response from the system, as when the abort procedure for a program is not known (emacs comes to mind); when trying to figure out if the system is just sluggish or really hung. A form of plokta can often be seen in mail messages or Usenet articles from new users -- the text might end with

as the user vainly tries to find the right exit sequence.

Prairie dogging
Something loud happens in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

Salmon Day
The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed in the end.

Seagull Manager
A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps over everything and then leaves.

Acronym for Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage.

Squirt The Bird
To transmit a signal up to a satellite. "Crew and talent are ready...what time do we squirt the bird?"

Stress puppy
A person who thrives on being stressed-out and whiny .

Tetris Elbow
Generic term for an affliction of the hand, wrist or forearm caused by excessing playing of games (presumably on company time).

Those who take training classes just to take a vacation from their jobs. "We had three serious students in the class; the rest were tourists."

Euphemism for being fired.

Tower of Babbage
From the Tower of Babel in the Bible, and Charles Babbage, the inventor of the "Analytical Engine" and the "Difference Engine", neither of which ever shipped. Refers to the sprawling proliferation of codes and standards. (The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.)

World Wide Wait
The real meaning of WWW.

See also "Wares" to get all the definitions -- bubbleware, shovelware, stareware, etc.

You can blame all this on me, and get all the excruciating detail at my personal home page.