[Haskell-cafe] Very freaky

Fritz Ruehr fruehr at willamette.edu
Wed Jul 11 15:17:06 EDT 2007

Once during a talk I noticed I was getting strange looks and realized  
I was using the term "string" too freely with an audience of non- 
technical people. About half of them were in a beginning linguistics  
class and could at least handle "trees" later on (which terminology I  
had thought in advance to explain), but the other half were from  
humanities, social sciences, etc., with no special training in  
computing (or linguistics). I had to back-pedal quickly to find a  
good alternative to "string" (Sequence of characters? Piece of text?  
"Text" is pretty loaded for some humanities people and would have  
connotations I wouldn't want.) I'd never before realized how  
convenient (but obscure!) the term "string" was. Here these poor  
people were trying to figure out how some thin piece of rope was  
involved in programming languages ... .

   --  Fritz

On Wed 11 Jul 07, at 11:54 am, Andrew Coppin wrote:

> I see this *a lot* with computers. People who know lots about  
> computers forget that some people don't know that a "megabyte" is  
> (considerably) bigger than a "kilobyte". Or that having a faster  
> CPU doesn't make Windows load faster. The number of technical  
> documents I've seen that make perfect sense to a knowledgable  
> person, but would be utter gibberish to most normal folk...

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