[Ads-l] ping

Marc Sacks msacksg at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 18 09:43:14 EDT 2016

In the IT world (where I live, at least during the day), "ping" has more
the connotation of "alert." When one computer pings another ("ping" is
actually the name of the program that does this), it simply requests a
returning signal that the other machine is reachable over the network. So
the word has taken on the meaning of "reach out to" or "say hello to." In
this context, I think it means that Trump has been made aware of the

It's possible that the writer is using the word onomatopoeically as a sharp
sound, like a pinprick, in which case the signal would be less neutral.

Marc Sacks

Marc Sacks

On Wed, May 18, 2016 at 8:09 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      ping
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> CNN:
> "That disclosure coming just in time to ping Donald Trump."
> Annoy? Irk? Prod? Provoke a reaction from?
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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