Origin And Meaning of The Most Popular Internet Terms

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I’m sure that most of you have been surfing the net for quite sometime and have been curious ever since about the meaning and origin of some well-known terms and frequently used words in the World Wide Web but have been very busy to find out their origin and meaning.

Wikipedia

One of the most popular references on the internet is Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, Wikipedia is a free, multilingual encyclopedia project operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, currently containing 2,597,920 articles in English. Its name is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites) and encyclopedia. Wikipedia’s 10 million articles, about a quarter of which are in English, have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone who can access the Wikipedia website. Launched in 2001, it is currently the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet.

Origin: The word “wiki” was coined by Ward Cunnigham in 1995. It’s supposed to be Hawaiian and means “very quick”.

Avatar

Most of you have used Yahoo Messenger because it was one of the best ways of having communication with friends and relatives in and outside of the country. According to Wikipedia, an avatar is a computer user’s representation of himself/herself or alter ego, whether in the form of a three-dimensional model used in computer games, a two-dimensional icon (picture) used on Internet forums and other communities, or a text construct found on early systems such as MUDs. It is an “object” representing the embodiment of the user. The term “avatar” can also refer to the personality connected with the screen name, or handle, of an Internet user.

Origin: In English, the word has come to mean “an embodiment, a bodily manifestation of the Divine.” However, the Sanskrit word Avatara means “incarnation.” The term is used primarily in Hindu texts. For example, Krishna is the eighth avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu the Preserver, whom many Hindus worship as God. The Dasavatara are ten particular “great” incarnations of Vishnu.

Yahoo

A yahoo is one of an imaginary race of brutes possessing human form and vices subject to the Houyhnhnm described by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travel. According to the dictionary, it would also mean – any person of low or vicious instincts; an awkward fellow; a bumpkin.

Yahoo! Inc. is a Worldwide American public corporation with headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, and provides Internet services worldwide. The company is perhaps best known for its web, search engine, Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, news, and social media websites and services. Yahoo! was founded in January 1994 and was incorporated on March 1, 1995.

According to Web traffic analysis companies the domain yahoo.com attracted at least 1.575 billion visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com study. The global network of Yahoo! websites receives 3.4 billion page views per day on average as of October 2007. It is the second most visited website in the US, and one of the most visited website in the world.

Google

Google is one of the best, if not the best search engines in the world. According to Wikipedia, Google Inc. is an American public corporation, earning revenue from advertising related to its Internet search, e-mail, online mapping, office productivity, social networking, and video sharing services as well as selling advertising-free versions of the same technologies. The Google headquarters, the Googleplex, is located in Mountain View, California. As of 30 September 2008 the company has 20,123 full-time employees.

The word “Google” is a play on the number “googol”. A googol is equivalent to a 1 followed by 100 zeros and is indeed an extremely large number. This term reflects the infinite and ever-increasing volume of information which is currently available on the Internet. The word “googol” was introduced by Milton Sirotta, who was the nephew of the famous American mathematician Edward Kasner. It was made popular through the launch of the book “Mathematics and the Imagination” which was written by Kasner and James Newman. Google (as a verb), would also mean-to search the Web using the search engine Google for information on a person or thing.

Blog

A blog is a contraction of the term “Web log”, is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Origin: The modern blog evolved from the online diary, where people would keep a running account of their personal lives. Most such writers called themselves diarists, journalists, or journalers.

Mozilla

According to Wikipedia, Mozilla was the official, public, original name of Mozilla Application Suite by the Mozilla Foundation, currently known as SeaMonkey suite. The name has been used in a number of ways and in combination with other phrases, though all of them have been related to the now-defunct Netscape Communications Corporation and its related application software.

Origin: Mozilla had been used internally as a codename for the Netscape navigator web browser from its beginning. Jaime Zawinski came up with the name during a meeting while working at the company. It was a reference to the name of the classic fictional monster Godzilla.

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