Hugh Falk wrote:
> 
> "PC games are generally pretty rare because people didn't really use the PC
> to play games until about 1985..."
> 
> I know what you mean (from context), but you can see how this statement
> could be taken wrong.  Am I saying you can't use "PC" to refer to IBM
> PCs...no.  You can do whatever you want.  What I'm saying is that don't
> assume PC means IBM PC.  

I think whenever someone says PC, it's pretty obvious what they're talking
about from context.  In fact, I can't possibly see how any such statement could
be taken wrong because the only people who would see that sentence are people
who would understand the context.  

When I talk to complete newbies, I do use the term "personal computer" and "IBM
PC" where appropriate, because I am aware of their level of familiarity with my
hobby and PC history in general.  (And you should have been able to tell that
my use of PC in that last sentence was intended to mean 'personal computing' --
if not, then I don't know how to help you ;-)

> I run a site about PC games.
> Jim runs a site about IBM-compatible PC games.

The problem with stating this is that 99% of the world who is not familiar with
our hobby would equate the above two sentences.  This is *not* the case with
previous pet peeves, like calling a C64 disk a "rom" or calling an NES cart a
"tape" -- that happens infrequently.  But if I polled 100 people on the street
and asked them what a PC game was, over 90 would refer to something on the
shelves at CompUSA.  In other words:  I know what *you* mean, and you know what
*I* mean, but I hope you're not assuming that people outside of our hobby will
know what you mean.

I'm getting the feeling that you think an abbreviation can only mean one
thing.  What's wrong with "PC" meaning two different things?  Maybe I need to
come up with some examples of abbreviations that mean different things in
different circles... 

..ah, but wait, I've just answered my own question:  It is perfectly
acceptable for an abbreviation to mean different things in different circles --
but is it appropriate for an abbreviation to mean two different things in the
SAME circle?  Probably not.   In which case we'd have to define what "PC"
definitively meant for our circle, and it would *have* to mean only one thing.

This is all semantics, of course, since neither of us will change our habits. 
Well, rest assured that when *you* say PC, I'll know you're most likely talking
about personal computers.  :-)

footnote:  I probably wouldn't have written as much as I have if it weren't for
this damn Claritin I'm talking for allergies.  I haven't slept more than 4
hours in 2 days.
-- 
http://www.MobyGames.com/
The world's most comprehensive gaming database project.

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