How to make the web sound interesting

This content is 18 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

A few days back, I wrote about the 15th anniversary of the world wide web. Robert Cailliau, who worked with Sir Tim Berners-Lee on the creation of the web, commented that, at the time, his only reservation about the name was that “it is difficult to pronounce in French“.

Since then, those of us whose native tongue is English have grown used saying “double-you-double-you-double-you”, to the point where there are now a number of abbreviations (I tend to say “dub-dub-dub” – a habit I picked up from antipodean radio adverts a few years back), or often the www gets dropped entirely. This topic has been discussed at length on the back pages of IT Week over the last couple of months and one suggestion for reducing the number of syllables was “wibble”. Of course, once you change the language it starts to get more interesting… apparently the Welsh version is “ooh-ooh-ooh”.

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