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Source: The ABCs of IP Addressing by Gilbert Held (2002)

Example:

Most readers should be familiar with the entry of near-English identifiers, more formally referred to as Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), into a browser to access a particular Web page.

What exactly do they mean by that?

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    It means "names that are similar to English". But this just reveals the author's ignorance -- none of magyarhirlap.hu, asahi.com, aljazeera.com, arusharaha.com etc. etc. is "near-English". Do not use this term!
    – TonyK
    Nov 26, 2016 at 18:47

1 Answer 1

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I read that as almost English but it could be almost any language.

Without these almost lanugage identifiers, we'd have to type http://74.125.21.113 to visit Google.

I'd never heard the term before this question though, so I wouldn't think it very widespread.

The clue is in the context, where it says

more formally referred to as Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)

a URL looks like this:

http://ell.stackexchange.com/a/110494
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    I'm seconding the "I've never heard the term before" sentiment -- neither I, not any of the people I talk with regularly, have heard of it before -- and adding that you probably shouldn't use it. "URL" is basically universally recognized, so there's no point in trying to use another phrase that isn't anywhere near as common.
    – anon
    Nov 26, 2016 at 18:05
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    I suspect the author was trying to say something like "the entry of identifiers which are similar to a natural language such as English," not to invent a new technical term for "URL".
    – alephzero
    Nov 26, 2016 at 19:55

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