Wednesday, December 21, 2005

ACK/NAK Defined

ACK /ak/ interj.

[from the ASCII mnemonic for 0000110]

1. Acknowledge. Used to register one's presence (compare mainstream *Yo!*). An appropriate response to {ping} or {ENQ}.

2. [from the comic strip "Bloom County"] An exclamation of surprised disgust, esp. in "Ack pffft!" Semi-humorous. Generally this sense is not spelled in caps (ACK) and is distinguished by a following exclamation point.

3. Used to politely interrupt someone to tell them you understand their point (see {NAK}). Thus, for example, you might cut off an overly long explanation with "Ack. Ack. Ack. I get it now".

There is also a usage "ACK?" (from sense 1) meaning "Are you there?", often used in email when earlier mail has produced no reply, or during a lull in {talk mode} to see if the person has gone away (the standard humorous response is of course {NAK} (sense 2), i.e., "I'm not here").

NAK /nak/ interj.

[from the ASCII mnemonic for 0010101]

1. On-line joke answer to ACK?: "I'm not here."

2. On-line answer to a request for chat: "I'm not available."

3. Used to politely interrupt someone to tell them you don't understand their point or that they have suddenly stopped making sense. See ACK sense

4. "And then, after we recode the project in COBOL...." "Nak, Nak, Nak! I thought I heard you say COBOL!"

(Source: The Hackers' Dictionary of Computer Jargon)

ACK: "I get it."
NAK: "I don't get it."

(Source: Me)

No comments: