Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I meant, I t'aint checking that.

I know what taint checking is. I just think you're referring to semantic change, not linguistic drift.

I think the only commentary I can possibly give you for this incredibly nerdy bit of humor that spans the domains of programming, security, linguistics, and popular culture is a series of Wikipedia links that breaks out all the relevant bits.  Admittedly, I think Snarky and Poor Paired Cube Guy switch roles a little in this frame, but hey, artistic license.

"When McGee tells a bad joke, Molly often answers with the line "T'aint funny, McGee!" which became a familiar catch phrase during the 1940s." [Wikipedia].

"Taint checking is a feature in some computer programming languages, such as Perl[1] and Ruby,[2] designed to increase security by preventing malicious users from executing commands on a host computer. Taint checks highlight specific security risks primarily associated with web sites which are attacked using techniques such as SQL injection or buffer overflow attack approaches.

The concept behind taint checking is that any variable that can be modified by an outside user (for example a variable set by a field in a web form) poses a potential security risk. If that variable is used in an expression that sets a second variable, that second variable is now also suspicious. The taint checking tool proceeds variable by variable until it has a complete list of all variables which are potentially influenced by outside input. If any of these variables is used to execute dangerous commands (such as direct commands to a SQL database or the host computer operating system), the taint checker warns the program it is using a potentially dangerous tainted variable. The computer programmer can then redesign the program to erect a safe wall around the dangerous input."  [Wikipedia].

"According to Sapir, drift is the unconscious change in natural language." [Wikipedia].

"Semantic change (also semantic shift, semantic progression or semantic drift) is the evolution of word usage — usually to the point that the modern meaning is radically different from the original usage. In diachronic (or historical) linguistics, semantic change is a change in one of the meanings of a word. Every word has a variety of senses and connotations, which can be added, removed, or altered over time, often to the extent that cognates across space and time have very different meanings. The study of semantic change can be seen as part of etymology, onomasiology, semasiology, and semantics." [Wikipedia].

Snarky: I know what taint checking is. I just think you're referring to semantic change, not linguistic drift.
Title: I meant, I t'aint checking that.

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