HTML is nothing to be ashamed of. It's a treatable problem.
According to one company, that's the thinking coming from more than 1 in 10 Americans who thought HyperText Markup Language was an STD. It's really a computer language for creating web pages.
Vouchercloud, a U.K. coupons website, reportedly conducted a survey to see how knowledgeable users were when it came to tech terms.
Now, there's reason to doubt the validity of the findings — we'll get to that later — but if true, they are hilarious. According to the Los Angeles Times, the survey involved nearly 2,400 men and women ages 18 and up.
12% thought "USB" was an acronym for a European country. A USB is actually a type of connector. Nevermind what the letters stand for.
15% thought "software" was a type of comfortable clothing, when it's actually the general term for computer programs. I guess chain mail would be considered hardware.
23% thought an "MP3" was one of the droids Stormtroopers were looking for on Tatooine when it's actually just an audio file.
And again with the geography: 27% thought a "gigabyte" was an insect found in South America, when it's actually a unit of measurement for storage in electronics.
But while the Los Angeles times cites a statement from the company and some percentages, one website calls codswallop on the whole thing, questioning whether the survey actually happened.
A writer for iMediaEthics says it's kind of conspicuous that no major outlet has seen or linked to the survey.
Not only that, but the PR firm for Vouchercloud specializes in "social media influencing," "viral marketing services," "reverse graffiti ... fake protests and flash mobs."
But let's say the survey actually is legit and 11% of Americans really do think HTML is an STD. A writer for CNET says that wouldn't be so bad. At least 89% know that HTML is not something you catch.
He says, "The instant lack of recognition of many tech terms might also offer that Americans have other — perhaps even better — things to think about."