I have come to the realization that Â a regular person going to an internet conference is equivalent to taking your forty-year-old-virgin cousin to a strip club, the regular person being the socially awkward cousin.
I usually think of myself as a relatively intelligent person, but standing next to Mr. I’m-a-coding-genius, I sometimes feel like a complete dork. The perfect example of this is the conversation we had about “forward slash” and “back slash.” Â Previous to this I hadn’t realized that there was a a sound more painful to a programmers ears than fingernails across a blackboard.
Now I know – it’s the sound of someone saying “forward slash.”
Seems like a regular old phrase- no big deal right? Not! This guy loses it when that pops innocently out of my mouth. You see, there is a different world out there.
A dark scary place where some words when uttered around theÂ denizens of cyber world have the same effect as dropping an F’bomb in the middle of a reverently quiet Sunday church service. Some people snicker other want to throw stones.
The effect of my code-faux-pas was a lecture on “don’t say forward or back.”
It’s just a slash.
“Why?” I asked smiling.
“You just don’t.” Â and Â “It’s just a slash.” Â WhereÂ the only answers that I ever heard.
This poor guy was acting as if I had uttered the most vulgar thing ever, but wouldn’t or couldn’t tell me why it was offensive. Â But even better than this was the “Don’t say that if we go out in public.” What? Â Are the other programmers going to make fun of you for having uneducated friends?
This is what happens when you tease a group of people for many, many years- they develop their own social rules- and they don’t tell you what they are. Now we know what all the geeks were talking about at those Star Trek conventions when the doors where closed!
Next up: The “Google that shit before you ask me lecture”