Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Jack or Jill?

I have to do a little maintenance on a family laptop.  When I say 'maintenance', I suppose I really mean that it is major surgery, to replace the connector on the motherboard for the power lead.

Don't lose heart, I'm not going to get too technical.  I just want to muse on the etymology of technical jargon, and perhaps to make a little fun of it.

In locating the spare part that I need, I used the power of Ebay, naturally, and found the component at a very reasonable price.  Finding it was not difficult, but the description is "ASUS . . . Genuine DC Power Jack Socket Connector."  So why does this seem strange? 

To me, the jack is the plug that plugs into this socket connector, and you could read the description that way.  On the other hand, thinking of the many variants on the nursery rhyme about Jack and Jill you might think of it in a different way.

If the plug is a Jack, does that make the socket a Jill?


LadyAtheist said...

yes! :-p Aren't electrical/electronic things frequently referred to as having a male or female end?

Derby Sceptic said...

I too have always referred to 'jack plug' and just called the socket a socket.

It does get complicated because we have role reversals often. Compare a VGA socket on a computer (female) with a 9 pin sub D type serial socket (male).

Would it be to hard to standardise?