Saturday, January 5, 2002 1:09 AM
From: "Arnold Nelson"
To: "Bill Safire" New York Times columnist
Bcc: "Jim Snyder"
Mr. Safire: in your "On Language" column in the NewYork Times 1/6 Sunday Magazine you refer to Yahoo! as an "...Internet server..." and further as a "...popular server...."
I've been using Yahoo! for almost 3 years, every day,for most of the day, and this is the first time I've seen YaHoo! described as a 'server'. I thot it was a 'portal', a software tool used to access the internet,which runs physically on a system of 'servers', whole computers (very specialized and very powerful computers at that) used by ISPs (Internet Service Providers.) An ISP is technically a 'portal' too, but can have very limited portal capabilities compared to something like Yahoo!
Only very recently has Yahoo! been reported to be considering adding servers to become an (initially limited) ISP.
I would hate to see these two up-to-now completelyserparate and mutually exclusive elements of computing terminology (hardware and software) start to overlap and become blurred, as happens so much in English.
Arn Nelson in Chicago