technospeak

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TECHNOSPEAK. An informal term for a PROSE style used by high-technology industries, their associated media, and the marketing and publicity groups that surround them, as in: ‘LISA lookalike systems, such as VisiCorp's VisiOn software, require a massive 256K bytes of Random Access Memory and a 5 megabyte hard disc capable of storing five million characters of information’ (Observer, 7 Aug. 1983); ‘Elegant, innovative and Inphone at its most ingenious, the Versatel features press-button dialling incorporated in the sleek lines of the handset’ (Inphone Info, 1980s ad, British Telecom). There are at least ten identifying features: (1) The use of LETTER symbols, INITIALISMS, and ACRONYMS: K, LISA (local integrated software architecture). (2) Number-and-letter groups: 256K. (3) BLENDS: SELECTaCOM, Versatel. (4) VOGUE usages: info, mega. (5) Compounds: lookalike, pressbutton. (6) Fixed phrases: hard disc, Random Access. (7) Wordplay: LISA lookalike, VisiOn. (8) Novel orthography: SELECTaCOM, VisiCorp. (9) Heavy pre-modification: Advanced Videotech Bike-to-Bike Intercom, LISA lookalike systems. (10) A generally dense presentation. See COMBINING FORM, COMPUTERESE, INTERFIX, TECHNOBABBLE.

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