I heard a random language observation somewhere on the Internet: Regional differences are emerging in the anglosphere for the term for “a small data storage device you plug into a computer’s USB port,” even though they’ve existed in the mainstream for about seven or eight years.
Here’s an informal, unscientific experiment: Write a comment on this post stating which term you usually use, and specify roughly where you live. Choose from the following:
Another term (specify)
I know what this is, but I don’t have a specific term for it
I’ll get the ball rolling: I say “flash drive,” and I’m from Southern California. What term do you use?
Mulled wine, fluffy bed socks, caramel sauce on ice cream, pinhole cameras, 3 piece suits, tidy rails, purple iris flowers, 4G mobile data, varifocal lenses, strawberry daiquiris, feather pillows
Computer suites, drawn-on desks, accidentally falling asleep at your laptop/computer, bruises that you have no idea where they came from, hilarious off-hand comments, swearing under your breath, neck pillows, caramel apples, moscow mules, granite counter tops, lemon sorbet
Sneakers squeaking on the gym floor, almond flakes, heated blankets, daffodils, butterfly cakes, anonymous valentines cards, thank-you notes, gold piping on clothing, sweet and salty popcorn, bloody marys, sports socks
Reading nooks, white russians, dust motes in sunbeams, the notes app on your phone, caramel macchiatos, comfy arm chairs, Twitlonger, losing a button from your favourite shirt, USB/memory sticks
Toe beans, birthday cake with perfect fondant, Pompompurin, squeaky toys, statement necklaces, fake freckles, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, crunchy autumn leaves, mojito, hair chalks
Extra squishy beanbags, snowmen, your most comfortable pair of shoes, "do it for the vine", falling asleep at the beach, rose gold jewellery, strawberry cheesecake, slushies, pina coladas, sleeping on top of the covers
School sports days, cut grass, minimalism, white sheets on unmade beds, being a flustered mess around your crush, FIFA, knitted scarves, long island iced tea, snare drums, lost pen lids
Yesterday I was at a self-storage unit
I rent for old furniture, boxes, etc. Anyway, when I went back out and got into
my truck there was a envelope on my seat. I left the doors unlocked, but I was
only 10 feet away the whole time. I might have been moving stuff and didn’t
see, but I had no idea anyone was even in that section of the place, let alone
walking by my truck. That was a little freaky, but nothing compared to what I
found inside the envelope.
It was a USB memory stick. My name was
on the envelope, but the stick was totally generic. Maybe I shouldn’t have let
my curiosity get the better of me, but when I got home later I put it right in
my computer to see what it was. Without even clicking anything a text file
immediately uploaded to my computer and opened. This is what it said, (redacted
“Hello (my full name),
You don’t know me, but I’ve been
following you around for a while. Something nice you did for someone else made
me take notice of you, so I’ve chosen you to help me. You see, my life isn’t
kind, or normal like yours. I hurt people, and when my job requires it, I kill
Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill you.
I’ve done enough killing, and my own number is up soon, so I wanted to do
something different with the last few weeks I’ve had. I’ve been watching you,
and whether or not you know it yet, you have a very important decision to make.
First, let me talk shop. Disposing of a
body is generally an easy thing to do. Wrap it up in trash bags then stick it
in a large 5 foot long storage bin. The problem arises when you have two
bodies, but only one bin. Then it becomes a puzzle. You can’t just cram them
both in, it won’t work, so you have to do some cutting. Once you have more
manageable pieces then you can work the puzzle. Let me just give you a hint,
you gotta start with the torso, it’s the biggest piece and the rest you can fit
in as needed.
But let’s get down to business. I own
the storage unit to the right of your unit. The bigger one. The key is
currently under the doormat outside the back door of your house. Also, on your
next bank statement you’ll notice that you’ve been renting it for several
months. Don’t worry, I took care of the charges.
Inside the unit you will find, stacked
from top to bottom, storage bins filled with bodies. Most of them are there for
a good reason, some maybe not, but what you should be more concerned about is
the body of your old boss, (name). The one you had a very public falling out
with when he fired you for bogus reasons. Probably one of the few times I’ve
seen you lose your temper. You made some pretty serious threats.
Before you stop reading and attempt to
contact authorities you should do yourself a favor and keep reading. Inside the
storage bin with his body is a pair of your work gloves. The ones you thought
you lost. Why am I doing this? Because I want you to do something for me,
something I can’t do. And I want to be sure you follow through, not just go to
Inside one of the other storage
containers is all of the money I’ve made over the years. More than I could
spend, more than you’ll be able to spend. I don’t want it going to the police
when they eventually find the storage unit. I want you to use it. I could never
donate it with blood on my hands and a guilty conscience, but I think you’ll do
the right thing and use it to help others. Like I said, I’ve been watching you,
and getting to know you pretty well. I know what drives you, and I know if you
had the resources you would try to make things right. For her.
You have a choice to make. Go to the
cops right now and take your chances with the justice system. The evidence
might be circumstantial, but you’ll be lucky if you don’t get death row. Or you
could try to find your boss’ body, but you’ll have to go through a lot of
storage bins before you find the right one, putting your DNA all over the
place. That would be even harder to explain.
So you really only have one option.
Find the money and use it to destroy all the evidence. That should be your
first priority. Hell, you could buy the entire storage company and demolish it.
I’ll leave that up to you. I have no doubt you’ll do the right thing.”
I figured it was a joke, someone that
knew a few details about me trying to freak me out. Then I went out back and
looked under the doormat. The key was there.