Sunday, February 10, 2008

After 'The Jump'

The Web is well-known for its unique lingo, often centering on acronyms. An increasingly integral part of our everyday culture and lives, many of these online acronyms have entered the vernacular. "lol," in particular, can increasingly be heard on TV and in conversation - sometimes spelled-out (as in ell-oh-ell), sometimes spoken as a word - so much so that it has spawned an online version of the offline version (based on the original acronym used online), "lawl."

A while back, I noticed a phrase I had heard before but could not place and was not quite sure what it meant. Suddenly, it seemed that every page I read contained it! "After the jump."

The usage went, "There are more pics, after the jump..." and "Read more about it after the jump..." Common sense told me that it must have meant "after you click the handy-dandy link labeled, Click Here for More..." but I wasn't exactly sure, due to the fact that it was used so frequently.

It turns out that that is, in fact, exactly what the phrase means. So why are so many people suddenly using it? Just to be "cool."

Seriously, this is one of those insider things - a hold-over from journalism. When newspapers employed the phrase, "after the jump," they meant "after you jump to the page on which the story is continued"; if the story was continued on page 12, you had to jump to page 12 to finish reading it. Eggheads have decided to rejuvenate the term so they can seem "hip" - because, you know, there isn't enough insider lingo when it comes to computing and the Web. Not to mention that more and more "real" journalists have started blogging, and I guess they wanted to show us upstarts that we don't know as much as we think we do.

You don't need this phrase for a very good reason: simply hyperlink the phrase (or the word, Continued...). See how that works? Wherever would we be without these "professionals" crashing into our industry to show us how it's done?

Oh yeah! Right here - where we've been for the last 15 years or so!

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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