This glossary ostensibly exists to define terms. But if you read carefully, you will begin to suspect that its real purpose is to find fault.

He versus she. Finding Fault has decided to consistently use “he” in the inclusive sense of referring to both sexes. We notice some authors using “she” in the inclusive sense, and to us it always looks awkward and incorrect—we don’t think English works that way. We also considered always using generic words and phrases such as “them” and “he or she” and decided that they made our text too complicated and long. Sometimes we see writers randomly switch between “he” and “she”, and to us that just looks stupid.1

Fake link, fake-linking. An unreliable method of trying to link to a web page. A fake link looks like a normal HTML link but does not act like one. Instead, it does something else such as causing a JavaScript function to run. This fails if JavaScript is not active or if the JavaScript code comes from an untrusted location. Widely published methods allow combining JavaScript with normal HTML links (not fake links) so they always work and achieve the same goals as a fake link. Some of the time, fake-linking serves a specific purpose; for example, in many Ajax-driven applications, almost every click causes a JavaScript function to run, and normal HTML links do not suffice. Most of the time, however, fake-linking simply indicates indicates lack of competence or poor judgment on part of the web designer. Note that the person providing content for a web page is not necessarily the web designer.

  1. Here’s a truly confusing example: “Theory of mind is that thing that a two-year-old lacks, which makes her think that covering her eyes means you can’t see her. It’s the thing a chimpanzee has, which makes him hide a banana behind his back, only taking bites when the other chimps aren’t looking.” Does this theory apply only to female humans and male chimpanzees? Is “her” generic for both sexes in humans, while “him” is generic for both sexes in chimpanzees? Is the author just alternating at random? We can’t tell. Article “Google and Theory of Mind” dated 2007-12-14 by Anil Dash visited 2009-07-11.