9 Replies - 2146 Views - Last Post: 21 January 2014 - 05:51 PM

#1 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Meaning of the word "crash" evolving?

Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:54 PM

Over the past few days, I've read a few threads where people asking questions have used the word "crash" to indicate that the program has misread the input and continued on running, but in an unexpected manner. When I was learning to program, a "crash" meant the program stopped dead in its tracks and either caused a core dump, cause the machine to lock up, or reboot. Now, it seems to just mean malfunction, but keep on running.

I'm trying to understand why the meaning of "crash" seems to have changed. Is there a bit of pop culture I'm missing out on because I've not been to the movies a few years and I've been really selective about what TV shows I watch?

Can I now say something deliberately vague to my boss and if they misinterpret it and send me to HR, I "crashed" my boss?

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#2 tarmizi_adam2005  Icon User is offline

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Re: Meaning of the word "crash" evolving?

Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:57 PM

Candy Crash ??
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#3 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Meaning of the word "crash" evolving?

Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:37 AM

I wouldn't worry about odd uses of things like that in threads. Keep in mind those threads are written by the same rookies that screw up all sorts of other terms as well. While its nice in many ways that more people have easier access to the internet - it also means that a large number of them don't know their arse from a SCSI drive. They also use phrases like:
  • I plug my laptop into the internet.
  • I turn on my computer then open the internet.
  • I upload my email from Google.
  • I want to make Jarvis from Ironman-Tell me what to type.

The downside of all this technology becoming "It just works" easy, is that the average user no longer needs to understand the process or what is happening on a low level. While I don't miss 300 baud acoustic-coupled phone modems, I do miss the culture of understanding that surrounded computing in the days of the TRS-80's and and Commodore PETs.
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#4 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Meaning of the word "crash" evolving?

Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:43 AM

True, but I don't go to my mechanic and say that the engine is "stalling". I would tell the mechanic that the engine stops running at random times. I won't go try to use a piece of jargon that I don't understand even if I've heard the word "stall" before.
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#5 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Meaning of the word "crash" evolving?

Posted 21 January 2014 - 07:48 AM

Crash sounds, well, bad. Clearly, crash is bad. If your instructor is giving an example and the program does crash, they would explain it as such. The take away could reasonably be that crash is synonymous with misbehaving program, rather than a more specific state.

The meaning of words is fluid. Even a dictionary is just a vain attempt to capture common usage. If a usage becomes common enough, then the meaning changes.

You could explain to someone that their use of "crash" is wrong. However, if enough of them do it, it will eventually be right. :P
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#6 andrewsw  Icon User is online

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Re: Meaning of the word "crash" evolving?

Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:38 AM

It was simpler in the old days ;). When a Commodore, Spectrum, etc., crashed there was no debate about the term; all we could do was to shutdown the computer, or just unplug it. Today, the term is used even if an application is just taking a long time.

A more frequently used phrase, I believe, is "it doesn't run". Sometimes they mean it doesn't compile or build, but often we find that it does run but just doesn't work.



wiki said:

A crash (or system crash) in computing is when a computer or a program (such as a software application or an operating system) stops functioning properly. Oftentimes, it will then exit after encountering these errors. The program responsible may appear to freeze until a crash reporting service documents the details of the crash. If the program is a critical part of the operating system kernel, the entire computer may crash, often resulting in a fatal system error.

http://en.wikipedia....ash_(computing)
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#7 depricated  Icon User is offline

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Re: Meaning of the word "crash" evolving?

Posted 21 January 2014 - 11:13 AM

Part of the job of a knowledgable technician is interpreting the Stupid they hear. For instance, I once got a icket asking for a tech dispatch to change the oil in a printer.
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#8 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Meaning of the word "crash" evolving?

Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:49 PM

View Postbaavgai, on 21 January 2014 - 09:48 AM, said:

Crash sounds, well, bad. Clearly, crash is bad. If your instructor is giving an example and the program does crash, they would explain it as such. The take away could reasonably be that crash is synonymous with misbehaving program, rather than a more specific state.

The meaning of words is fluid. Even a dictionary is just a vain attempt to capture common usage. If a usage becomes common enough, then the meaning changes.

You could explain to someone that their use of "crash" is wrong. However, if enough of them do it, it will eventually be right. :P/>


Like the word decimate originally meant to kill 1 out of 10, but now means to practically kill everybody.

Or how people are using the phase "beg the question" incorrectly?
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#9 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Meaning of the word "crash" evolving?

Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:09 PM

If the meaning isn't dead simple, it will morph.

My favorite is "awful." Think about it, the be "full of awe." Specifically, in the awful presence of God...

Goodbye is an old short of God-be-with-ye. Say it fast.

Any slang for a group of people, regardless of intent, will inevitably become a derogatory term.

Note that "fuck" is strangely unchanged.
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#10 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Meaning of the word "crash" evolving?

Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:51 PM

As far as I have heard and experienced, crash now means the same as it did years ago, the program became unresponsive and stopped dead in its tracks. A program still running but erratic is not really a crash, it is just a programming acting erratic and unpredictable.

:)
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