Friday, December 19, 2014


Roger asked about the word hack, which has been prominent in the news since North Korean hackers breached Sony’s computer files.  To those outside the avid computer community, it means gaining access to a computer’s content illegally. Its origin was the name of any tool (such as the pickaxe, mattock, or hoe) used to chop things up. While some computer hacks today are incredibly elegant and sophisticated, early attempts were considered crude and hit-or-miss.

Computer aficianados prefer to call illegal hackers crackers, as in safe cracking. To many in that community, hacking is seen as a positive term: a quick, creative solution to some computer problem.

The word hack has been around for centuries, so it has picked up many meanings along the way:

·      n.  A writer who turns out material quickly in order to make money.

·      n.  A horse used for work, not show.

·      n.  A board on which a hawk’s meal is placed.

·      n.  A very inept golfer.

·      n.  A prison guard.

·      n.  A common drudge.

·      v.  To drive a taxi.

·      v.  To cope.

·      v.  To cough loudly and frequently.

·      v.  To pass time aimlessly.

·      v.  To chop off with rough strokes.

·      v.  To place bricks on a frame to dry.


Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.comand clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


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