Definitions Can Be A Techy Subject

Definitions Can Be A Techy Subject

Remember when you could reference your tattered yet dependable dictionary for the proper punctuation or spelling of a word? Ahhh, yes. You were a great pal, Merriam-Webster. Well, those days are long gone. It seems like language is changing nearly every day and an old paperback reference guide will no longer keep you on the up and up!

There are terms and phrases used today that were never around ten, five or even two years ago. Others have been around for centuries but have taken on entirely new meanings. It goes without saying that much of this new terminology is due to the rapidly changing technology we’ve experienced and will continue to experience throughout the years.

Thankfully, the Associated Press Stylebook, or AP Stylebook, always seems to be at the ready as a guide for proper punctuation and grammatical usage. What’s the difference between “check in” and “check-in”? Which is correct… “geo location” or “geolocation”? What the heck does it mean to “unfollow”?!

All these words and more have been recently updated in the AP Stylebook and can be found below. While many dictionaries are online and up-to-date, only the phrases “download” and “end user” were found during a recent search. Words below with an asterisk were found in online dictionaries but only with antiquated definitions and underlined terms weren’t found at all. We don’t know about you but some of us have the sudden urge to post and tweet!

check in* (v.), check-in (n. and adj.)
Action associated with location-based social networking tools.

download
To get information from another server or computer.

end user (n.), end-user (adj.)
A phrase commonly referred to by technology developers when imagining the audience for an application, software or hardware. End-user experience.

Foursquare*
A location-based service.

geolocation
The association of your virtual location with your physical location. Many social networks have enabled geolocation features (Facebook Places is one example), and some are built completely around geolocation (Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt).

geotagging
The act of adding geographical metadata to pieces of media or social media updates. A geotagged photo would indicate the latitude and longitude of the location the photo was taken. A geotagged tweet would also indicate latitude and longitude, or a more general location, for example, Carolina Beach, N.C.

mention*
On Twitter, an @mention tags an account in a tweet someone else is publishing. It often appears in place of the actual name. Example: I refer to the @APStylebook as I edit stories.

On Twitter, an @reply is a common technique to speak to other people directly. A tweet that begins with @username can only be seen by people that follow both parties, though it can still be viewed on an individual’s profile page. Example: @APStylebook I have a style question that I need help with.

tablet computer
A touch-screen computer that can be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi or cellular data networks.

tag*
To identify someone or something in a post someone else is publishing. Photos are often tagged to identify people and objects in them.

unfollow
To remove an account from the list of accounts that populate a feed, usually on Twitter. Note that unfollowing on Twitter is a one-way action: I may unfollow you, but you may continue to follow me.

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