Thursday, September 06, 2007

I heart word-formation

OMG I just logged into Blogger and saw this notice:
You may have seen stories in the news recently about malware on Blogger, such has this one from the BBC or this one from Committee to Protect Bloggers.
Malware? Malware? wow. (But rest assured, Blogger was not affected by this malware.)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Malware? Is this about the infamous journal Maledicta? Is Uncle Mal, as the editor is known, developing software now?

ricks said...

I've been seeing this word for a while now, perhaps a couple of years though I'm not really sure. It's a blanket term for any kind of uninvited/malevolent/annoying software, including viruses, Trojan horses, and the like.

drew said...

The Jargon File has had an entry for malware for quite a while. It appears that the entry was put in between version 3 (1993) and version 4 (2003). I think I saw it first (probably on slashdot) in the late 90s.

Aniibiish said...

The Jargon File also has: annoyware, careware, crippleware, crudware, fritterware, guiltware, liveware, meatware, payware, psychedelicware, shelfware, wetware, and adware.

Anonymous said...

I've been seeing this for a while as well. Monica, you need to keep up with these things! I also love the new adverb "automagically" as in "Just download the file, click on it, and it will install automagically."

Ben Zimmer said...

Nowadays you'll even find malware in your finer dictionaries, such as NOAD2 (where it's defined as "software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems").

Monica said...

yeah, it's true - I don't get out much. I did know "wetware" already! And all ware is annoyware...

Ollock said...

I've seen malware. I think my first encounter was around last year and have seen it with growing frequency over the past year.

Somebody mentioned "wetware". Perhaps someone could help me here, but I think the "-ware" suffix on "hardware", "software", and "wetware" (the last of which I only really know as a reference to the brain) is different from the "-ware" in "malware", "software","shareware", "freeware", etc.

While the former "-ware" seems to be a marker that shows this is some sort of distinction relating to computing tools -- with "hardware" meaning the physical equipment and "software" being the abstract constructions that allow it to do interesting things -- while the latter "-ware" seems to refer specifically to software -- and might be a clipping from software.

Forgive me if I stated something blatantly wrong or blatantly obvious.