REBOL Technologies

Amiga started it all, pooff.

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
8-May-2008 0:10 GMT

Article #0363
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There's a nice little word I use from time to time: pooff.

It comes from the Amiga days, but when I Googled for it, I found nothing within the context of Amiga! So, here's something for Google to chew on...

It all began back in early Amiga Computer days of 1983, when we were busy inventing the future. Dale, RJ, or I would drop by Glenn Keller's desk (one of the main VLSI chip designers) and ask about how we use a specific feature of circuits... perhaps how to control one of the 25 built-in DMA channels.

Glenn would answer, "Well, here's how... blah, blah, blah... pooff."

What Glenn added at the end, that little word pooff meant: "unless of course it's not!"

Glenn informed me that the word is spelled pooff, not poof, which puzzled me for a while, until I looked at his name again. I guess that's like holding down a key too long on the keyboard.

So if I said, "REBOL is the most advanced language the world has ever known, pooff." Then, in fact, I am making a valid, authoritative statement... but hedging just a bit. "REBOL is the most advanced language the world has ever known, unless of course it's not."

The reason this word is so useful is because we scientists like to make many statements that we feel must be true, but may not be. We don't want to diminish the power or dramatic effects of our statements, so we just add that little asterisk, pooff, and all is well.

We can say things like, "Barbecued beef is really good for you, pooff," or, "R3 will be released this summer, pooff" or, "Global warming is unstoppable by humans, pooff." You know that your statement is safe and cannot be seriously challenged because you have protected it with your special little footnote.

So, there it is, a nice word, and the history behind it. Use it frequently, use it well, but use it wisely. It's a great word, pooff, pooff.

Just a note.

I Googled around a bit more and found a rather odd meaning for this word... but let's just ignore that and overpower it completely with a positive meaning, the one that it is truly intended to have, pooff.

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