Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Le coin des geeks

Yes, it appears the French for "geek" is "geek". Not sure whether or not a French nerd is un nerd.

Let's start with a reminder that any post containing the word "geek" in its title may not be for everybody. That said, let's plunge in to today's geek topic, which is "words related to the internet".

The internet itself is referred to as "internet", often as not with no article. Thus "on the internet" is "sur internet", or just "en ligne". The term "la toile", literally "the web", is also used.

Here are some fine terms the Academie Française would like you to use, but that are widely ignored, with the possible exception of the first:

un courriel -- an e-mail
arrosage -- spam/spamming; related to watering, or spraying, a garden
fouineur -- a hacker, possibly a phisher; comes from the verb/noun for "ferret"
hameçonnage -- phishing
un mouchard -- a (browser) cookie
frimousse -- an emoticon, or smiley

For all but the first of these, the English term is the one that is widely used, though you have to remember to say it with the appropriate Gallic inflection.

To download something is "télécharger", but to upload is "uploader".

Finally, here are some fine French coinages. They are mots-valises, or portmanteau words:

pourriel -- junk e-mail, or spam (from courriel + poubelle)
bavardoir -- a chatroom (from bavarder, to chat)
clavardage -- a contribution to a chat thread (clavier + bavarder)
émoticône -- une frimousse
peurtable -- fear of cellphones (peur + portable)

I myself suffer from a slight case of peurtable. It's my strong Luddite heritage.

There. That wasn't so bad now, was it? Bear in mind that this blog has a responsibility not just to entertain, but to edify, at least occasionally.

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