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1 in 10 Americans thinks HTML is an STD, study finds

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Salvador Rodriguez

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A screenshot of the HTML of this article page - which is not an STD.

A screenshot of the HTML of this article page - which is not an STD.

If you're talking tech with Americans, you may want to avoid using any jargon.

A recent study found many Americans are lost when it comes to tech-related terms, with 11 per cent saying they thought HTML – a language used to create websites – was a sexually transmitted disease.

The study was conducted by Vouchercloud.net, a coupons website, as a way to determine how knowledgeable users are when it comes to tech terms.

"Technology is a huge interest for our user base," a company spokeswoman said. "It seems that quite a few of us need to brush up on our tech definitions."

Besides HTML, there were some other amusing findings:

  • 77 per cent of respondents could not identify what "SEO" means. SEO stands for "search-engine optimisation".
  • 27 per cent identified "gigabyte" as an insect commonly found in South America. A gigabyte is a unit of measurement for the storage capacity of an electronic device.
  • 42 per cent said they believed a "motherboard" was "the deck of a cruise ship". A motherboard is usually a circuit board that holds many of the key components of a computer.
  • 23 per cent thought an "MP3" was a Star Wars robot. It is actually an audio file.
  • 18 per cent identified "Blu-ray" as a marine animal. It is a disc format typically used to store high-definition videos.
  • 15 per cent said they believed "software" is comfortable clothing. Software is a general term for computer programs.
  • 12 per cent said "USB" is the acronym for a European country. USB, or Universal Serial Bus, is a type of connector.

Despite the incorrect answers, 61 per cent of the respondents said it is important to have a good knowledge of technology in this day and age.

The study involved 2392 people aged 18 years and over. The subjects were not told the study was specifically looking into their knowledge of tech terms. They were presented with both tech and non-tech terms and asked to choose from three possible definitions.

Los Angeles Times

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