Jargon buster: A fifth of people think that ‘cryptocurrency’ refers to funeral finance


For us in the data and IT world, we are well versed in technical jargon, but here’s a little reminder than technology isn’t so straightforward for the uninitiated. A survey of more than 2,000 members of the British public looking at technological terminology has revealed that many are still unsure about the meanings of common words and phrases.

Asked to choose which of a selection of possible answers was the correct one, 38% of people said they thought ‘cloud computing’ related to using technology while on a flight. The survey, commissioned by intY, also revealed that 23% of respondents thought that HTML is text-speak for ‘Hi There My Love’ (how frightening), while 36% believed ‘cryptocurrency’ related to funeral finance.

The survey asked respondents a set of twenty questions relating to computing and technology. When asked, ‘What is the blockchain?’, 41% answered that it was another name for an old-fashioned toilet pull flush. 28% thought an IP number was an international phone number.

There are approximately two billion personal cloud storage users around the world, with many more using it for professional purposes. Despite the large number of people using the cloud, when asked the question, ‘Do you understand how the cloud works as a concept?’, 53% responded, ‘No’. Of the respondents that answered ‘Yes’, only two in five could correctly define the cloud.

For anyone who happens to be blissfully unaware, cloud computing is of course a term used to describe the distribution of hosted services over the internet, which enables access to shared information and resources. A few examples of cloud-based platforms include Google Drive, iCloud and Microsoft Office Online.

In a bid to help reduce the misunderstanding around common technical terminology, intY has released a ‘Dictionary of Computing’, in the hopes it will help people grasp a basic understanding of computing terms. To be honest, in this day and age I don’t know how these people make it through life.

“We know the world of IT and computing can be complex, but we think our Dictionary of Computing jargon-buster might just help people struggling with a few technical words and phrases we in the industry probably take for granted,” comments intY CEO, Craig Joseph.

He continues, “The cloud is an enormous part of billions of peoples’ lives around the world, so we wanted to look at just how well the general public understood fairly common terms. Services like Apple’s iCloud or Google Drive are used daily by a huge number of people, yet a large number wouldn’t recognise them as cloud-based services. Add that to the fifth of people that appear to have missed the cryptocurrency ups and downs of the last few months, and we think our Dictionary could be a bit of educational fun!”

See the full survey results and intY’s ‘Techtionary’ (dictionary of computing) here: https://www.inty.com/blog/2018/03/26/intys-techionary/