June 05, 2006

Refi: Naming and Namespace Collisions

Adventures in Namespace

It just occurred to me—has Google indexed the site yet? (The answer is yes, they have.)

But before I requested from Google such specificity, my first query was for, simply, "refi". This, I thought to myself, is a nonce construction, an odd jamming together of letters that has no meaning. Right?

Well. Hoom. This is where it becomes clear that I do not have a mortgage: I have, as consequence, never considered refinancing. As such, I've certainly not gotten so used to talking about my refinance plans that I would feel compelled to adopt a useful (if twee) bit of short-hand like refi.


There's also a Polish (I'm guessing) blog at refi.blog.pl. Anyone who can read the language is welcome to let us know what, precisely, is going on there with the pictures of adorable children and the dearth of paragraph breaks.

Note: refi.blogspot.com, the address I had hoped to snag when I created this blog, is throwing a "Not Found". Which suggests that someone used it and wasted it. Blast you, failed blogger!

Why name this site "refi"?

Short answer: it's short and snappy.

Long answer:
Regular readers of Metafilter know more than one name for the site. We call it the blue, after the color of the front page (so lazily cribbed for the design of this very blog). We also call it mefi, because that's a 60% savings on keystrokes.

And the other sections of the site—ask.metafilter is the green or simply askme, and Metatalk is the grey (or as some people have asserted in the past—we'll keep an eye out for this—the brown) or simply meta. Any of these can be seen rendered in lowercase or with punctuating capitals—MeFi, AskMe, MeTa—though I think this is most common with MeTa, being as how the lower-case rendering "meta" is a bit confusing without explicit context.

(There's also Projects, which is a newer part of the site. The newness of the section, the weird-cousin difference in functionality from the rest of the site, and the lack of any particularly euphonious coining: I suppose these factors taken together explain why there's no generally accepted nickname for Projects yet. I've heard "MePro" once or twice, but that's not exactly a winner. Projects was also called the red for a while, but after a number of complaints Matt opted for a less retina-searing dark teal. And the dark teal just doesn't stick.)

It is in the context of that grand history of names and nicknames that refi was chosen. It's an implied collapsing of "Review of Metafilter", I suppose, though "Metafilter in Review" is a much more appealing subheader.

But it is not about refinancing your home. Really.


Anonymous digitalseraphim said...

you could always have gone for "MeRe: Metafilter in Review"

9:33 AM  
Blogger Josh Millard said...

True enough. But then there'd be no friction in the word. "MeFi" has that nice fricative, "AskMe" a sibilant and a plosive, even "MeTa" has a nice plosive. "MeRe" would just sort of run together, which is no good if you've had a couple of beers.

2:30 PM  

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