Please, please, speak English!

Are there any other sixty-somethings out there who are intimidated by the internet, have empathy for flies trapped in spider’s webs as you battle the arcane intricacies of the world wide web?

I am trying to revamp my web page, make it work for me as I am assured it should. Over the years odd kindly-hearted souls have sent me advice on how to improve it, or pointed out errors, and I have dutifully tried to ‘fix’ what is ‘wrong’ resulting in clicking confusedly on various links, reading snippets of utter garble, finally giving up in favour of a cup of tea.

This week was crunch week. After all, I am not dumb, I told myself. I have an above average IQ. Yes, I am not good with names and have caused mirth and consternation in equal proportions in this regard. And I’m clumsy, and fumble fingered of occasion, particularly when texting. But I am not stupid.

On Tuesday I approached my web site with determination. I can do this. I can figure out what all these bits and pieces mean, and end up with a fetching site that will draw millions, including the much needed publishers!

I clicked on the help button and found the tutorials. Decided to begin at the beginning. Pressed the ‘get started’ button and was on my way. Two hours later, neck stiff, eyes struggling to focus, back bent I staggered into the garden for a stretch and a breather.

‘I’m not letting this get the better of me,’ I growled at the cat.

Now it’s Friday, and with dread in my heart and a deep reluctance to connect to the internet, I realise I need to have a stern conversation with myself. Very pleased that I did. A light came on in my brain: These are children, who write these programmes. All this jargon is nothing more than childish twaddle.

I was still recovering from the time spent trying to find out what an avatar is, bumping into gravatar and blavatar along the way, only to discover the words mean ‘icon’! For heaven’s sake why can’t you simply speak English! is it because you are all so young you haven’t learn the language yet? Is Star Wars to blame? Dr Spock?

I remember making up a gobble-di-gook language when I was a child, but once I discovered the magic of real words I grew out of it. Is there any chance the same might happen to the computer generation? Or will we have to live in this perpetual wonderland, that not even Alice would comprehend, until the end of our years, which thankfully are less than they were when this madness began.

My other peeve is the need for initials. Everything is described by initials, run together un-separated by full stops, that leave one nibbling at possible meanings. URL? Underlying railway lines? Understanding real … ? upsetting royal laws?

If you said ‘Link address’ I, and I am sure many others of my generation, would understand immediately. No wonder we retreat in increasing numbers to the relative safety of senile dementia and Alzheimer’s!

I haven’t got there yet, and I still have to find a way to circumnavigate this obstacle course of febrile imaginations, so think of me dear friends, as I connect once more to my page to uncover its secrets and produce the best website ever!