Comments on: Amiga started it all, pooff.
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: 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.

12 Comments

Comments:

Luis
9-May-2008 2:08:08
Maybe it's the upbringing, but here in the UK 'pooff' reminds me of magic tricks: 'Pooff, and it's gone!' As in gone in a puff of smoke.

Cheers,

Luis.

Rod Gaither
9-May-2008 4:28:32
I think they are related, there is a bit of the "is it real question" in both but I think with the "ahem" spelling of the pooff version implies more true with a little of the magic poof, pooff. So pooff for the win! :-)
EyeAm
9-May-2008 19:01:58
Carl. Um. Wow. Just...wow. :) I am weird, and you have just exceeded me with this blog entry.
Harry
10-May-2008 15:03:37
Related to Edward de Bono's Po?

http://www.thinkingmanagers.com/blog/2006/05/10/edward-de-bonos-po

Johnatemps
14-May-2008 8:34:41
Yes in france too, we have "Pouf, and it's gone!" (or "done"). I like your pooff, but maybe it's difficult to use the first time, isn't it ?

An other neologism that I like is "wisibility". Its like "Web-vISIBILITY".

AmigaBlitter
18-Aug-2008 15:22:28
Amiga Rulez. What about a Rebol port on OS 4.1? Pooff!!!
MorphOS user
3-Sep-2008 1:48:54
What about a Rebol port on MorphOS 2?
another morphos user
20-Oct-2008 3:36:38
yeah, rebol for morphos 2.x! and for amiga 4.x too! we all know that you wanna make it, pooff!
nnes
25-Nov-2009 1:17:31
how is it pronounced? like "poof" but emphasizing the "f" or like "poo off"? not joking.. would really like to know :-)
Glenn Keller
18-Apr-2010 9:36:09
This was a Needle invention, as far as I know. I've never seen it spelled or in print it until Mary found this the other night. --glenn
Carl Sassenrath
29-Apr-2010 11:29:22
Glenn! Great to see your comment. Well then, we must give Dave Needle the credit for his contribution!
Carl Sassenrath
29-Apr-2010 11:30:41
nnes: just like poof.

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