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Tech talk 'more confusing than a foreign language'

Research undergone on behalf of Britain's Carphone Warehouse claims that people are less stressed when confronted with Greek than geek. The most confusing term: algorithm.

The most confusing word in tech. Allegedly. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You might be familiar with the term "megabyte."

For some, though, it represents an emotional megadeath.

You might know what an ISP is, but some need ESP in order to explain to themselves what this actually means.

This, at least, is the conclusion of a deeply disturbing piece of research, performed in the U.K. on behalf of Carphone Warehouse's Geek Squad.

As the Daily Mail translates it, real, normal human beings are more emotionally disturbed when faced with tech talk than with the Greek for "good night" or the Russian for "cheers."

It seems they begin to perspire. The electrics in their brain begin to overload. The researchers calculated that these people found it 42 percent more stressful and confusing to decipher geek than Greek.

I can sense a little kvetching and stirring in the audience, so please let me make it worse for you.

This piece of research claims that when they heard terms such as "OS" and "plug-in," the men were 138 percent more stressed than the women.

It is customary here to accept all research with at least as much salt as McDonald's puts on its fries.

So might I temper your temper by explaining that there were a mere 16 respondents in this fine scientific study.

However, Carphone Warehouse's Geek Squad has decided that the 10 most confusing tech terms from the research just have to go. The company is simply removing them from its dialogue with customers.

Here they are:

  1. Algorithm
  2. Beta
  3. Cache
  4. Phablet
  5. Vlogging
  6. Phishing
  7. ISP
  8. Trojan
  9. Geo-tagging
  10. Back-end

Some might be surprised that "back-end" was so low down.