awwYou know what make my eyes roll painfully, what really gets my goat, what rustles my jimmies? All these dumb headlines that Microsoft just leaked this and just last week AT&T leaked that and following two months of being quiet Nokia leaked the other thing. To leak does not mean to package up a tidbit of what you’re working on and about to sell, blur it a bit in Photoshop, blitz sites like ArsTechnica, Gizmodo and Slashdot with it and hope someone runs it. That’s been done so much you can’t even call it guerilla marketing anymore. That’s not leaking. Leak does not mean that.

To leak, at least from a lexicographical perspective, means to release something accidentally, not deliberately and tactfully. The figurative definition has already been allocated, to take a leak. Google leaked and you’ll see sixteen thousand hits. It appears on this site even more, proportionally. We know they’re not leaks, almost all of them at least, so please stop calling them leaks. Stop encouraging these companies.

Or, if you genuinely think they are leaks then we need to start calling companies out on blatant and repeated failures not to leak inside information. That should be the story in my view, that “Company X Leaked Something, LiveBlog Updates on Whose Heads Are Consequently Rolling and Other Fallout over Tarnished Reputation Forthcoming,” not whatever it is they announced, the Sea Doo having state of the art WVGA resolution, intentionally or otherwise.

Also, all right is spelled all right, two words, not alright. Alright is not all right. Stop doing that. I hate that.


Doug Simmons


  1. What is it called when an employee anonymously disseminates intellectual property from his or her company to a tech site? It is not accidental, but isn’t that a leak?

    Also, you are fighting a lising battle with “alright”. It is, or will soon be If it already isn’t, considered a legitimate word.

  2. If he knows he’s not risking his job either because he calls such shots at this company or because he was told to do it by someone who does, then I’d call that an announcement or, not knowing which, an anonymous tip, or a reader tip. If someone gets fired in connection, or the feds get involved, related pictures containing nudity, an apparent leak.

    • @Doug Simmons:

      Only if those quotation marks are intended as speech marks. Otherwise putting the full stop after the quotation mark is quite correct.

      Also – ‘alright’ has been in wide use for well over a century. It has long been considered good English. Not much point railing against it now.

    • @Doug Simmons:

      Double spacing after a full stop and single space after a comma is just habit from when I was first taught to type (on an actual typewriter in the bad old days). It looked better. I’m too old to change it now.

  3. Let me just express my thanks to all those tipsters who risk their jobs to get information out. Having personally seen some-one pretty high up fired because he was so excited by what he saw that he wanted to share it, I can assure you most of the time the leaks are pretty real and can have real consequences to those involved.

    • Surur: Assuming we are not debating things involving politics and war, if someone in a company decides to surreptitiously hand off information to you, isn’t he not acting in his company’s interests, rather acting against them, the company that pays him in exchange for working under conditions that may include rules about the handling of inside information? And how is hurting his company for the sake of giving your site a GPU spec scoop a good thing to laud the way you just did?

      • Thats a complex question. For a company like Microsoft for example people who work there may disagree with the need for secrecy or they may legitimately side with the users rather than the company.

        In terms of thanking the tipsters, their scoops are of course the life blood of my site, so my gratitude is not complex. The deeper question of morality is much more complex e.g should Windows Phone 7 users have been told from the start their handsets will not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8? That info is clearly not in the interest of Microsoft, their partners or Windows Phone, but it is in the interest of users.

    • @Albert Bunn:

      So, is it clearly understood that it is altogether wrong to merge ‘all’ and another word into one, such as with ‘alright’, even if many distinguished writers have already been doing so for a very long time, because such merged words can offer clarity of meaning?

      How about we ignore needless pedantry and pointless efforts to hold back the tide of language evolution?

      What are we, the French?

      • While we are at it, we can roll back the use of all contractions, which in essence what “alright” effectively is.

      • I was making a sarcastic jab at Doug’s attack on “alright”. If we should take offense at “alright”, perhaps we should also take offense at words like “that’s”, “you’ll”, and “they’re”, all contractions used in Doug’s article.

      • Nothing wrong with those, they’re what we call “contractions”. You take a word, put a “‘” in it, and you’ve got a shortened version of two words.


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