CHAPTER 4

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Jargon and Slang

“One of the reasons there are so many terms for conditions of ice is that the mariners observing it were often trapped in it, and had nothing to do except look at it.”

—Alec Wilkinson, The Ice Balloon: S. A. Andrée and the Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration

Several months ago, I came across a presentation by Gary Bernhardt, simply titled “Wat.” Wat is a colloquialism used on the Internet to describe confusion or amused disbelief toward a subject, in this case JavaScript. Bernhardt’s presentation used a question-and-answer format. First, he displayed a seemingly reasonable line of JavaScript and then asked the audience ...

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