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Meaningless Computer Names (Ben Scott)
(chuckle, original)

(this is original; thanks go to Trygve Lode for additional word ideas)

Quiz: Test Your Computer Term Savvy!

Over the past few years I've begun to notice an insidious new trend in the way computers and peripherals are named. The loathsome practice of making up a meaningless word for a product name, often ending in "a," had been confined to the auto industry (what DO words like "Elantra," "Previa", or "Acura" actually mean?!?), or so we had thought...

It started slowly, with company names like "Compaq," many years ago. Then it began to build up steam with the creation of words like "Advantis" and "Futura." Now it's an entrenched phenomenon, and I've come up with a quiz to test YOUR knowledge of this hot marketing fad!

Select the letter representing the most likely definition for each word:

1.  "Pagemarq" is: 

A) the trade name for a type of radiator hose used in Japanese automobiles B) a rare fish, considered a delicacy in Laos C) a new laser printer from Compaq

2. "Performa" is:

A) the Welsh word for septic tank B) illegal in 49 states C) a line of cheap Apple Macintoshes

3. "Primera" is:

A) one of the moons of Jupiter B) the title of a little-known romantic poem by Lord Byron C) a printer from Fargo

4. "Contura" is:

A) an unusual vine found in Africa and used by the natives to cure warts B) a special kind of magnet C) a line of Compaq laptop computers

5. "Taligent" is:

A) a disease of sheep B) a famous composer of French advertising jingles in the 19th century C) a joint venture between IBM and Apple

6. "Innova" is:

A) a type of military weapon developed by Saddam Hussein B) one of the 50 words for "snow" in the Eskimo language C) a line of PC-clones from Canon

7. "Kalieda" is:

A) the sound caused by a leaky gasket in a fancy espresso machine B) the name of the guns carried by the aliens in last week's "Star Trek" C) a company Apple spun off for special projects

8. "Prosignia" is:

A) a surgical procedure, replaced by liposuction in the early 50's B) an almost-forgotten character from an early Disney film C) another line of cheap Compaq computers

9. "Pentium" is:

A) a rude slang term for nose hair among Pacific Islanders B) the bone in your wrist that hurts when you're unscrewing a jar lid C) an Intel CPU that will someday be released

10. "Encarta" is:

A) the mystery ingredient in McDonald's Secret Sauce B) an experimental, high-yield grain being tested by the FDA C) a CD-ROM encyclopedia from Microsoft

11. "Contenda" is:

A) an unpleasant shade of brown B) the forgotten eighth member of cast of "Gilligan's Island" C) a laptop computer from Zeos

12. "Premia" is:

A) the Oriental discipline of meditative toenail grooming B) a deadly skin condition characterized by colorful glandular secretions C) a line of computers from AST

13. "Centris" is:

A) a small town in Texas, birthplace of TV's talking horse "Mr. Ed" B) the sports term for the guy on a hockey team who repairs broken sticks C) a line of expensive Apple Macintoshes .f

Answers will be given in next week's post. (this quiz is very hard on spellcheckers!)

Copyright (C) Ben Scott 1993

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