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One In Ten Americans Thinks HTML Is a Type of Sexually Transmitted Infection 255

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-is-what-you're-up-against dept.
sandbagger writes "It looks like technical writers won't be unemployed any time soon. According to a recent study reported on by the LA Times, 11% of Americans thought HTML was a sexually-transmitted disease. The study, by coupon site VoucherCloud, involved 2,392 men and women 18 years of age or older. 27% thought 'gigabyte' was a South American insect, and 23% thought MP3 was a Star Wars robot. The participants were not told that the study was specifically looking into their knowledge of tech terms. They were presented with both tech and non-tech terms and were asked to choose from three possible definitions. 18% identified 'Blu-ray' as a marine animal, and 15% thought 'software' was comfortable clothing."
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One In Ten Americans Thinks HTML Is a Type of Sexually Transmitted Infection

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  • Could it be (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deletedaccount (835797) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @06:13AM (#46406373)
    That not everyone is taking this seriously?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @06:13AM (#46406377)

    Those Americans who don't know IT terminology are surely not interested in learning it, so I see no job openings for technical writers just yet.

  • by gweilo8888 (921799) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @06:14AM (#46406379)
    Just another sign of the demise of Slashdot. A clearly fake survey viral created solely to publicize a coupon website makes it to the front page of a site supposedly for people smart enough to know better than to fall for rubbish like this.

    Could this any more obviously be a viral scam? No.

    And nor could Slashdot any more obviously be a shadow of its former self.
  • Slashdot Polls (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spacecoyotefarva (2384168) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @06:16AM (#46406391)
    ...are more scientifically rigorous.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @06:58AM (#46406543)

    Those people where given three options, how many of those just filled in something randomly? If they all filled it in randomly because they could not be bothered to think about it 1/3 would have answered STD. So in my opion this research shows 1/3 of americans are to lazy to think about questionaires so they filled in something random.

    If it had been an open question and people wrote STD on their own, then maybe it meant something.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @07:01AM (#46406553)

    The poll is obviously false as it contains gross underestimates of the number of Americans who believe stupid things.

    Yeah, given that half of Americans believe that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, which sounds like a much more substantial educational deficit to me, I'd expect 10% of them to get HTML right and not wrong.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @07:44AM (#46406683) Homepage Journal

    I know significant numbers of the over 60 population who avoid and ignore all things digital save for their satellite TV receivers. And the only reason they have those is because cable wasn't available in their area.

    Yeah, sure, I could laugh and point at the "dumb Americans", but it's not dumb Americans -- it's dumb people, and we've no shortage of them around the world. After all, as George Carlin pointed out: Think about how stupid the average person is, and remember that half the population is dumber than that.

    Besides, as many have already pointed out, this whole article is clearly a slashvertisement to give eyeballs to a piece of shit coupon site.

  • Re:Could it be (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @08:47AM (#46406971)

    Well, it might be asking a bit much to know SEO. But USB? Even my dad, a Luddite if there ever was one, knows what USB is. He will probably say "that flat plug at the side of my keyboard", meaning the USB connector of his laptop, but at the very least he'll identify it as "something that belongs to that infernal $expletive piece of crap".

    People use USB. Daily. If they have some kind of computer, they will most likely have either some kind of dongle that connects them to their mobile internet, a mouse that uses it, a thumbdrive or other storage device. People use Blu-Ray players to play their videos.

    Oddly, though, I bet if you ask them about VHS, they will probably identify it without fail as "that video recorder cassette". The older ones will also certainly know what an 8track is (at least if they're in the US, less so in Europe). Both of them also being technical terms. I think it would be interesting to research why earlier "tech terms" were far more widely known than modern ones.

  • proving that... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gemtech (645045) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @09:07AM (#46407081)
    acronyms, abbreviations, and initializations out of context are confusing.
  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kimomaru (2579489) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @09:43AM (#46407289)
    So what? Ask people to find Croatia on a map. Forget that. Ask them to find Africa. Skip that. Ask them to find North America. For real, now we're shocked at people who can't keep up with acronyms? This is a huge shock? Is this post about making fun of people?
  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @09:54AM (#46407373) Homepage

    Obviously these were multiple choice questions. So you cannot use the data like this. 10% do not actually think HTML is a STD, they just have no idea what HTML is.

Your own mileage may vary.