Re: Re[8]: Killer Language

Subject: Re: Re[8]: Killer Language
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 08:19:55 -0800

On Tue, 3 Dec 1996 07:56:16 -0600, Wing, Michael J wrote:

>>> It is NOT "universally accepted". I would hesitate to call the female
>>> end of a serial cable, a "socket".
>>>Well, *you* might hesitate. But a quick check of the electronics catalogs in
>>>our lab shows many electronic supply firms don't share your hesitation. That
>>>particular designation has found its way to print so often it's become part
>>>of the designator -- "DB25S," where the "S" means socket -- in the catalogs.
>>>My unscientific survey turns up pin/socket almost as often as male/female in
>>>describing the parts. While you might risk bewildering the non-technical
>>>members of your audience by using pin and socket instead of male and female,
>>>I don't think you'd even cause an engineer to pause.
>Now I'm really confused. When I worked at Raytheon, many of the
>connectors had sockets and pins. Furthermore, their mating connectors
>(this terminology will probably start a new thread) also had pins and
>sockets. I guess these connectors are hermaphrodites ;^).

Therein lies the problem: as I mentioned before, one could also look
at, say, a female DB-25 connector as not BEING a "socket" (it certainly
doesn't LOOK like my idea of a "socket", but as HAVING 25 little

I think this particular tangent has come full-circle at this point (can
a tangent do that? :) Suffice to say, "plug" and "socket" are a little
too ambiguous to replace "male" and "female" outright, at least when
dealing with cable-connector descriptions.

(Funny... reminds me of a Howard Jones song from back around '86...
"You got the socket, and I got the plug..." ;-)

Your friend and mine,
<insert standard disclaimer here>

They say there are strangers, who threaten us
Our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness, too dangerous
In our theaters and bookstore shelves
Those who know what's best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves
- Rush, "Witch Hunt"

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