Hypertext me, why don’t you?

This was not my idea. I stumbled upon something someone else found and posted in my favourite translators’ forum that got me going.

Today marks 20 years of the official launch into the public domain of the World Wide Web. We have the Englishman Tim Berners-Lee, primarily to thank for this. He was the one who wrote the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. I freely admit his name meant nothing to me until ten minutes ago although I can claim with a kind of couch-potato quiz show pride that I did know what the letters http:// stand for!

The prefix “hyper”, by the way, comes from the Greek huper, meaning “over” or “beyond”. “Over” in Latin is super, whilst depending on context of course – to use a well-worn phrase in translator circles – ultra  and extra are generally considered equivalents of “beyond”. I shall not tax you with the other word associations flashing before me. No doubt, you have your own to contend with.

It just strikes me as crazy that today via hypertext, et cetera, I can say the following exempli gratia and you will understand me perfectly:

I am ultra-excited about going to the supermarket and so hyper about all the extra-special discounts today that I might just max out on my credit card. Text me when you get there and we’ll meet for coffee.

As the late great Freddy Mercury sung so invitingly decades ago, “I’ll make a supersonic man out of you”, which was quite daring at the time, and some might have thought, quite beyond the pale.

OK, I’m so over it already. Super.

Allison

The word in bold appeared in the previous post.

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