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April 14, 2014


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As techno-neologisms go, "ping" is tops in my book. I think its best use is to reflect what the original meaning above says - that one issues a ping "in order to determine whether a host is present." In the lawyer-ese that I speak as a second/third/fourth/etc. language, I most often use "ping" to indicate that I'm contacting someone from whom a response is overdue. So it's not "Hey, what's on your agenda today? Well, I thought I'd ping opposing counsel to set up a settlement conference," but rather "Hey, opposing counsel hasn't gotten back to me, so I'll ping her."

For those of us running WordPress blogs, the notification we receive when someone else has linked to something we wrote is called a "pingback." (WordPress also created a service to notify aggregators, with the cheery name "Ping-O-Matic.")

My favorite onomatopoeic use is in the birth scene in Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life." The essential piece of equipment in the operating room is "The machine that goes 'Ping.'"

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