If you are like most people you were probably born with a fear of bugs. If you weren't born with a fear of bugs, then you probably acquired it the first time your mom saw you try to eat one.
We often fear things we don't understand. Today we have a whole new world of bugs our mothers never even imagined and there is plenty to be fearful of. They are in the computers.
But fears like these can be minimized by the process of classification. A lot of work has been done to classify the regular bugs. It must have worked because the people who classified them aren't afraid of bugs at all any more. Maybe the same thing will work with the bugs in our computers.
Regular bug classification seems based upon Latin. That works for me. The way the entomologists did for the house fly was to assign it a Phylum: Arthropedia, give it a Subphylum: Mandibulata, then the Class: Insecta and an Order called: Diptera, the Family called Mandibulata and finally they specifically named it Musca Domestica. This goes a long way in explaining why the rest of us refer to it as a "house fly" or when there is more than one... "damn flies".
The entomologists have the house fly totally under control through this process of classification and almost no one is afraid of it any more. This is pretty conclusive evidence to me of the potential power of putting unknowns into neat and orderly categories.
I may as well go ahead and start the process for some of the bugs in our computers. Who knows, maybe it will make me famous.
I'll begin by putting computer bugs in the Phylum "Technocopia" and the Subphylum "Computoptera". Then these bugs need to have a class so I'll use "Phasmomonstrosa". Loosely translated I think this lumps the bugs I'm after into the broad category of "Invisible computer-dwelling scoundrels subsisting of the fruits of technology". At least I hope that is what it means.
According to the proper methodology for bug classification everything has to belong to an Order. All the bugs I am interested in will fit nicely into an Order called "Corpus". This will tell computer bug specialists in the future that we... way back at the turn of the century knew that as long as these bugs were in our computer applications they could become lifeless cadavers at any time.
As important as systematic classification in Latin is we still have to identify common names upon which the remainder of the bug's scientific name can be based. We need to do what was done for the damn flies... give them a name for regular use and save their unique scientific names for exchanging serious technical data among future bug specialists.
Let's start with Doodle Bug (Chartum errata). This bug occurs when the person drawing the logic flow chart gets a phone call and makes a few notes in the margin that a programmer later codes into the software. Erasers are a good defense against Doodle Bugs... but only if applied before the programmer gets them. After that, it becomes necessary to dig Doodle Bugs out one-by-one.
Wooly Catapulter (Poptum farleptra)
As its name implies, this assembly language bug makes far jumps when popped of the stack and lands on the address of something that will be important later on. It is quite capable of maturing into a Double-winged Byte (Binarae gossameris) and flying away before anybody can track it down.
Wrong-way Houdini (Locktitis amorosa)
This is the bug that makes your system lock up. It just loves to do that. Any attempt to try to expose this very keyed up little fellow who lives on the underside of the DOS area makes him give the computer a coma to lock himself up again. He gets his sustenance when the system is restarted and justs hides there until he feels the program he's living in is about to be executed.
Praying Mortis (Popal savus)
The Praying Mortis is frequently found living in the holes in security software. It was originally discovered when an unauthorized clerk somehow printed out the history of the IT Department Head's salary and bonuses for the last five years. The programmers reportedly prayed that they would find the bug before the big boss got rigor mortis, and hence the name. Today, some of the same people are selling life insurance online to system security experts and are doing pretty well.. I hear.
Bracket Widows (Parenthesis interminus)
These bugs are never far away from statements and procedures that rely on overly complex nesting techniques. Finding the culprit has been described as "...like looking for a bracket in a bracket pile." They got so bad that nowadays every decent development software package has software in it that does absolutely nothing but look for them. Female Bracket Widows reportedly eat their partners after mating which helps explain why one of them turns up unexpectedly missing all the time.
Never Locusts (Heretadae Gontanyte)
These are a type of bug that expose themselves briefly to one of your users and then they never show up again. After sightings are reported by a member of the user community Never Locusts refuse to come out again no matter how many times you repeat the sequence of events that led to the initial sighting. They have close relatives called Ditto Locusts (Heretadae Gontadae) that make the mistake of showing up a second time.
Gnuts! (Codus replicada)
Gnuts! favor small imperfections in previously tested and authorized utility programs that have been used in every conceivable program in your system. As soon as the first one is reported the word Gnuts! can be heard emanating from every cubicle in the IT department. Unfortunately that alone... does not make them go away. They like the publicity.
Trumpeter Beeples (Gongum falsifora)
This is what causes system units and printers to beep for reasons not intended... nor even anticipated by design. One way they can be dealt with is by disconnecting the little speakers and buzzers cutting off their source of nourishment and entertainment. Another way is to refer to the proper chart before coding special characters from memory.
Early Mites (Programma guessnosum)
These are the very first suspects whenever the word "bug" is mentioned. The programmers always have a list of Early Mites to run through before getting on with the more difficult task of actually looking for the problem. Early Mites are often parasitic. They live off of untested programs and techniques that contain May Flies (Logicis chancii) where they eat the May Flies that didn't.
Swamp Spoolers (Holus fulluptica)
The Swamp Spooler lives in PC software that doesn't have a message that tells the user to make sure their printer is turned on. There is still some of this around. The bad part is that users often mistakenly turn their PCs off when the spooler gets full setting free another bug that lives nearby... the Paper Louse (Reportica obliterata).
Board Beetles (Equipsylae downforus)
These bugs are basically hardware faults that can sometimes be eradicated by banging on the side of the PC with an old tennis shoe. This has been known to scare them away but what isn't known is if it is the result of the banging... or the way old tennis shoes smell. I think the truth is known to PC repairmen because they always seem to be wearing old tennis shoes.
Daisy Loopers (Mobius eternum)
These bugs forage through programs that look okay on paper but during compilation they stick their tails in their mouths and cause the computer to operate continuously until you manually shut the system down. They are rumored to have been bred by mistake in an early program written by the power company. They were allowed to escape because they seemed like such a good deal for a utility company.
Sonata Bug (Codae hilaris)
This pseudo-bug derives its name from the way laughing coders try to explain to the Product Manager that what they are complaining about is the specific change that the Product Manager insisted be included in the new release. This bug causes an immediate rash-like reaction that makes the Product Manager's face turn red and renders them speechless for several days. Fortunately Sonata Bugs are rarely fatal.
Well, there. Classification has helped me a lot already. But I have one remaining problem I need your help with. What do we call the automated reply to a desperate request for customer service assistance that says you should execute the same series of steps you got from their help site AND explained how those steps did not work in your message... that caused you to e-mail them for assistance in the first place?
What should we call it in Latin, I mean. Does anybody know Latin for that?