Saturday, April 18, 2015

Just a humble dot . . .

What is a dot?   Wait, don't groan just yet! 

This is a dot

‘But it’s blue’, you say. Good eye, Sherlock! Who said it had to black?  That is what you probably expected to see, right?    How would that blue dot look on Mrs Patel's forehead?   I think it would best be red: The bindi dot

But, enough of this ethnicity stuff – for now – we’ll come back to it a little later.

Yes, a humble ‘dot’ can be this color, that color, by itself, in a group . . .  well, you decide: See here what a dot looks like:  A dot - in many guises

Wait, have you heard of a Polka dot?  Of course you have - even if it was not anything to do with a bikini. But have you heard of it spelled this way?   

Yes, that is the ‘mascot name’ of the High School in the small town of Poca, West Virginia. It's true - I even refereed soccer games there. No! Their uniforms did NOT have polka dots on them. 

But wait - a ‘dot’ can be more things than the traditional concept of a simple small circular object. It can be a 'DOT' – a large complex organization – as in Department of Transportation. Where I live, in Missouri, we have MODOT; across the Mississippi River in Illinois,they have an IDOT – of course they have that in Iowa, Indiana and Idaho too.

Returning to the smaller version of dots -  the one which we, the people who spend too much of their crawling around the internet, are most familiar - is one of those that follows that annoying faux-abbreviation – www. I mean, think about it:  ‘World Wide Web’ – 3 syllables; needs to be ‘abbreviated’ to three tri-syllabic single letters – www?  George Carlin once asked why ‘abbreviation’ is such a long word?  All may now groan in unison. 

OK – that provides the much awaited segue back to the ‘ethnic thing’ mentioned above. Not only do we see the ‘dot’ immediately after the ‘www’, we see another 'dot' in domain names – or more precisely, in the domain name extensions that announce various websites. In the USA, we most commonly see ‘.com’ – enunciated as ‘dot-com’. Of course, there are the ‘dot-gov’, ‘dot-org’ and the ‘dot-edu’ domain extensions.  Across the pond, in Merry Olde England, you’ll see ‘dot-co-do-uk’ – as in a www followed by a ''

Now oddly enough, one of its (England’s) most famous bards once said, in the play (whose name must NOT be spoken) – ‘Aye, there’s the rub’. That was whilst talking of a situation in Scotland – another part of the UK. Of course, 'Bill-of-Stratford' - as he may be seen in today's social media venues - could not possibly have known what was to come half a millennium later. You see, there is yet another little-known part of the UK – the part in which I was born and raised. It is known as Wales. Until 2015, any website – whether in the USA, or in the UK, that dealt with Wales probably had a domain name extension that was‘dot-com’ or ‘dot-co-dot-uk’. Not a whit of consideration given to the possibility of a ‘dot-WALES’, was there?   Well, in 2015 – it ‘.wales’ – AND its equivalent in Welsh – ‘.cymru’ (kum-ree, for the phonetically inclined) became recognized – AND available in the USA.

I proudly believe I may have launched the very first such domain name extension, in conjunction with my rebuild of the local Welsh Society’s website. 

* Edited in early 2016: the website is no longer available - (no) thanks to lack of interest from the membership of the Society.

So, you see - though the humble 'dot' may appear so insignificant, just as with Mrs Patel's forehead, it is what is BEHIND that humble 'dot' that is so important. 

1 comment:

  1. I think you are just getting Dotty about this ..
    nice new website though