[Ads-l] "to ping"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 30 21:10:24 EDT 2017

On Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 10:23 AM, Geoffrey Nathan <geoffnathan at wayne.edu>

> I assume the etymology is from the old UNIX command, which puts it back in
> the pleistocene era (in computer years).

No doubt, but non-techies like me are most familiar with the term from
"piniging" our ISP’s as part of a speed-check. There. I’ve just pinged my
ISP - a local, semi-buttocked operation call "PennTeleData - and the
response has taken 0.19 sec.

FWIW, I connect this political kind of "ping" with using sonar to ping the
potential target of a submarine in order to determine its position, so as
to know how a spread of torpedoes needs to be aimed in order to hit that
target, hence, metaphorically, to use sonar to determine the direction in
which a politician needs to aim his rhetoric in order to hit his target

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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