Outrage as enclave of young is penetrated
By Nury Vittachi
I was shocked and dismayed to read recently that two old people had used the Internet to fall in love and get married. Wu Jieqin, an 81-year-old Beijing art professor, married Jiang Xiaohui, 58, a retired Sichuan railway worker.
'The Internet doesn't belong to the young alone,' Wu told the Beijing News. 'There are no rules against old people seeking love online.'
Oh yes there is. The Internet is for the young. We have gone to immense trouble to make sure there are no free public computers where old people hang out (park benches, noodle shops, graves) and loads where young executive types hang out (coffee shops, airports, white collar detention centres).
But somehow these two old people managed to get hooked up to the net and each other.
The main barrier we erect, of course, is language. The main tongue of the Internet is Trendy-Speak. We write LOL for Laugh Out Loud, G2G for Got To Go and TDSFABMMMIOF for This Doesn’t Stand For Anything But Makes My Message Impenetrable to Old Folk.
Even the instructions on connecting to the Internet baffle the elderly. My mother thinks Right Click Link is a dance move and Refresh Browser means Give the Dog Some Water.
I know quite a few oldsters, so I discussed Internet terminology with them. So here is a Dictionary of Internet Terms for Elderly Asians.
Hard drive: Going all the way to town on a bullock cart.
Desktop Icon: Buddha statue.
Laptop: Portion of your trousers stained by soup spills, etc.
Backup: What you were doing in the tractor when you ran over a farmhand.
RAM: Dangerous sheep with horns.
8-bit: Teeth mark on your arm after you encounter RAM (see above).
Random Access Memory: The way your brain remembers a meal you ate 50 years ago but cannot remember the names of any of your wives.
Web: Thing made by a spider.
World Wide Web: Thing made by a REALLY big spider.
Web sites: The corners of ceilings, broken shed windows, and sometimes your head if you fall asleep in the armchair too long.
Log on: What you do when the fire is going out.
Floppy disk: Cause of pain in your lower back.
Disk Operating System: Bed frame on which you lie while your wife walks on your back to get your spine straight again.
On line: Where you hang your wet underwear.
Off line: What you do with your dry underwear.
Search engine: What you do when you have lost the tractor keys and have to look for the spares you hid earlier.
Cursor: What you become when you cannot find the spares.
Debugging: The once-a-year cleaning of the kitchen.
Technical support: Strappy thing that you wear under your clothes for embarrassing reasons.
Mac: Strange, round Western sandwich, too big to fit in mouth.
Broadband: Trouser belt.
Mousepad: Rodent home hidden behind wall.
Viral marketing: The collecting of unwanted souvenirs from the karaoke club near the shops.
Crash: How to stop the tractor.
Downtime: Sleeping under a tree.
Softwear: The boots you have been wearing for 20 years.
Remote server: Waitress who will not flirt with you.
Mainframe: the first bit of the rice storage barn to be finished.
Bar code: Always go outside to vomit.
ROM: City in Europe where the Pope lives.
Loop: (See Loop)