Ping! A new bad habit in the workplace
Cursed as I am with a pedantic nature, I often over-analyse things or get irritated by things that wouldn’t bother most people. Stuff like using “your” when you should use “you’re”, and vice-versa. I wouldn’t dream of using the abbreviation commonly used for “laugh out loud” and never have done.
In recent years I’ve been irritated by the use of the word ‘leverage’ as a verb. Leverage is something you have, not something you do. Dictionary.com now disagrees with me, listing leverage as a noun and a verb, but I think this is a result of leverage now being accepted as a verb because too many people have misused it. Chambers Dictionary on-line lists leverage only as a noun. Interestly, Thesaurus.com (run by the same people as Dictionary.com) also lists it as a noun only… as does AskOxford which incorporates the Oxford English Dictionary.
Anyway, onto the actual subject… the word ‘ping’. Having worked in the IT industry for most of my working life, and having done some technical stuff in the past, I know the word ‘ping’ by Wikipedia’s definition…
…a computer network tool used to test whether a particular host is reachable across an IP network
However, these days I see it more and more in Sametime conversations. Just yesterday I was in a meeting – someone asked me if I could talk, and as usual I responded with “yes, I’ve been able to since I was two”. Naturally they found this retort very amusing (I think they did) and asked me to ping them when I was available.
On previous occasions when people have asked me to ping them I’ve then asked for their IP address. The problem with doing this is that the reply is usually “???” and then I have to explain their mistake in asking me to ping them. It’s a gag that works better with technical people.
A colleague suggested that the use of ‘ping’ comes from the noise that Sametime makes when a new line of text arrives. I disagree, it’s more of a ‘ding’ than a ‘ping’. This week I also heard someone tell someone else to “ping a note across to me”. God knows how that will work. I’ve been through all the parameters for the ping command and none of them seem to satisfy that objective.
…works for Microsoft as a Global Account Technology Strategist. In a former life he worked for the Lotus brand within IBM for many years. Married with one daughter and two dogs, lives in Camberley (Surrey, England), plays the guitar to a mediocre standard, and runs 10 kms and half marathons at an average speed. That’s it really.