Working in a technical field has it’s ups and downs. One of the more common annoyances I run into is people that can either not explain what they mean in simple terms or that choose not to in order to appear knowledgeable. I still have a long way to go before I can suggest a sure-fire approach to curtailing this behavior. Quite honestly, I have been known to fall back on “fancy tech words” on more than one occasion to hide ignorance or to try to seem smart (OK that was hiding ignorance twice but it sounds better the way I said it). What I can offer is a great resource to understand what people are saying and maybe even have some fun with them/me.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, maintains a Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures. The dictionary is a great place to go to find out what people are talking about. It is also a great place to looking for different ways of doing things. I sometimes even go to the site just to look for entertaining technical concepts, like the “Cactus Stack”, “Stooge Sort” or even “Big-O Notation”.
Have fun with the big words but please only use them for good or at least funny evil. Go ahead and post any you feel are interesting or just plain funny in the comments of this post. The more time I spend on that site the more terms I find I was overlooking.