The Terminology Blues

It's fascinating how terminology is invented. Some words haven't even hit the dictionary yet. Blog is such a word.

March 9, 2004

2 Min Read
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When I was asked to be a contributor to Server Pipeline by Jennifer Bosavage, she asked me if "I would write a weekly blog." Fortunately, I knew what a blog was, and was able to expand my limited definition to fit hers.

It's fascinating how terminology is invented. They have a science that's dedicated to this: It's called etymology. Linguists typically study etymology. Some terminology hasn't even hit the dictionary yet. Blog is such a word. I did a search on and came up empty-handed.

While talking with Jennifer, she talked with me about blades. "What do knives have to do with computers," I asked. "To that end, I don't think its another Wesley Snipes movie, or ice skates or a sharp fellow; a regular blade, a buck or fop" (as's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable defined it). I was stumped.

Jennifer explained, and as she did, I kept thinking of a system I used to use back in the late 80's, when we were still using 286 computers (yeah, I'm that old. Which may be why I can't for the life of me remember the product).

The 1980 hardware/software concept was almost exactly the same as today's server blades. Share the 286/386 machine's motherboard, hard disk controller and hard drive, but use separate daughter boards that contained the CPU and terminal emulation software to drive Terminals (as opposed to PC's. The product for its time worked flawlessly.So while some terminology is so new, that the on-line dictionaries haven't caught up, other engineering feats of marvel are based on old technology.It's a wonderful life!

More information on server blades can be found in "Blade Servers: A Wonder Drug For Some Business Ailments, But Not All," HP To Offer Opteron Systems," and "Fujitsu Debuts Intel-Based Blade Server"

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