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Fun with Neologism in the Cloud Era

Posted by: Geoff Smith
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Fun with Neologism in the Cloud Era

Having spent the last several blog posts on more serious considerations about cloud computing and the new IT era, I decided to lighten things up a bit.  The term “cloud” has bothered me from the first time I heard it uttered, as the concept and definition are as nebulous as, well a cloud.  In the intervening years, when thoroughly boring my wife and friends with shop talk about the “cloud,” I came to realize that in order for cloud computing to become mainstream, “it” needs to have some way to translate to the masses.

Neologism is the process of creating new words using existing or combinations of existing words to form a more descriptive term.  In our industry neologisms have been used extensively, although many of us do not realize how these terms got coined.  For example, the word “blog” is a combination of web and log.  “Blog” was formed over time as the lexicon was adopted.  It began with a new form of communicating across the Internet, known as a web log.  “Web log” become “we blog” simply by moving the space between words one to the left.  Now, regardless of who you talk to, the term “blog” is pretty much a fully formed concept.  Similarly, the term “Internet” is a combination of “inter” (between) and “network”, hence meaning between networks.

Today, the term “cloud” has become so overused that confusion reigns (get it?) over everyone.

Cloudable – meaning something that is conducive to leveraging cloud.  As in:  “My CRM application is cloudable “ or “We want to leverage data protection that includes cloudable capabilities”

Cloudiac - someone who is a huge proponent of cloud services.  A combination of “Cloud” and “Maniac”, as in:  “There were cloudiacs everywhere at Interop. “  In the not too distant future, we very well may see parallels to the “Trekkie” phenomena.  Imagine a bunch of middle-aged IT professionals running around in costumes made of giant cotton-balls and cardboard lightning bolts.

Cloudologist – an expert in cloud solutions.  Different from a Cloudiac, the Cloudologist actually has experience in developing and utilizing cloud based services.   This will lead to master’s degree programs in Cloudology.

Cloutonomous –  maintaining your autonomy over your systems and data in the cloud.  “I may be in the Cloud but I make sure I’m cloutonomous.”  Could refer to the consumer of the cloud services not being tied into long term services commitments that may inhibit their ability to move services in the event of a vendor failing to hit SLAs.

Cloud crawl – actions related to monitoring or reviewing your various cloud services.  “I went cloud crawling today and everything was sweet.” Off-take of the common “pub crawl,” just not as fun and with no lingering after-effects.

Counter-cloud – a reference to the concept of “counter culture,” which dates back to hippie days of the 60s and 70s.  In this application, it would describe a person or business that is against utilizing cloud services mainly because it is the new trend, or because they feel that it’s the latest government conspiracy to control the world.

Global Clouding – IT’s version of Global Warming, except in this case the world isn’t becoming uninhabitable, IT is just becoming a bit fuzzy around the edges.  What will IT be like with the advent of Global Clouding?

Clackers – Cloud and Hacker.  Clackers are those nefarious, shadowy figures that focus on disruption of cloud services.  This “new” form of hacker will concentrate on capturing data in transit, traffic disruption/re-direction (i.e. DNS Changer anyone?), and platform incursion.

Because IT is so lexicon heavy, building up a stable of Cloud-based terminology is inevitable, and potentially beneficial in focusing the terminology further.  Besides, as Cloudiacs will be fond of saying… “resistance is futile.”

Do you have any Neologisms of your own? I’d love to hear some!


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