Passive Voice and Hacker Zombies

April 18, 2018 | Laureen Hudson
Laureen Hudson

Laureen Hudson

Laureen is a technical and developmental editor for AlienVault; also a writer, publisher, enthusiastic geek enabler, autodidact, activist, and instigator. She has spoken before capacity crowds at engineering conferences, gatherings, and hackfests on the topics of new media, communications, and publication models. She lives aboard a 47' catamaran with her family, and if she’s not online, it’s probably because she’s crossing an ocean.

April 18, 2018 | Laureen Hudson

Passive Voice and Hacker Zombies

Passive voice in written communication is a huge part of the InfoSec world’s perception problem. I get it, I mean, it’s not really your fault, right? Your 8th grade English teacher probably made you write that way, because it’s formal. Or because it’s proper. Or because you’d flunk the class…

March 20, 2018 | Laureen Hudson

Cambridge Analytica Debacle -The Definition Of Breach

Pretty much the motto of my profession is “word choice matters.” I say it a lot. It appears somewhere in the marginalia of pretty much everything I’ve ever edited. Words have denotation, and connotation. There are considerations for dialect, and for popular use. It can be fiddly and annoying to be queried so; I get it.…

March 13, 2018 | Laureen Hudson

Infosec Language Grows Up: The Bishop Fox Cybersecurity Style Guide

  On February 15, Bishop Fox released their Cybersecurity Style Guide. I am absolutely stoked for them, and for the arrival of what looks like a new era in InfoSec language consistency. I was lucky enough to get to speak to Technical Editor Brianne Hughes last week. “I polled the internal team,” she told me, “and got the…

January 25, 2018 | Laureen Hudson

When Bad Language Happens To Good Systems

In my last blog, I wrote about how words are created and then become mainstream over time, and how that time is longer for normal words, and shorter for words used to describe things in tech. But it’s not always a straightforward nor does it always land in the correct place. To illustrate, I give you, “on…

January 18, 2018 | Laureen Hudson

Shakespeare’s Netymology

One of the coolest things about editing in the tech space, for a word nerd like me, is that the language is brand-new, ad-hoc, and usually made up on the fly by an engineer or security researcher frantically trying to communicate a new idea without saying something like, “and then the thing happens…” The technical term for…

January 11, 2018 | Laureen Hudson

Cryptocurrency Isn’t Crypto

For the love of all things glittery, you guys, here I am with this lovely platform from which to rant about language development around developing technology and what happens? Bruce freaking Schneier blogs about inappropriate language use around developing technology; specifically, that “Crypto” Is Being Redefined as Cryptocurrencies. I am all aswoon; I’ve been a serious…

December 18, 2017 | Laureen Hudson

Agile Development, Agile Documentation

I remember when software documentation was linear and waterfall. No, really. Those were the days. Software was architected, designed, coded, the code was frozen… (I can totally hear you laughing from there. Shhhhh), and then it was documented. You’d buy disks, in boxes, with actual books included. Printed. On paper. …and then we had to spend…

December 12, 2017 | Laureen Hudson

It’s Only A Hacker If It’s Linus Himself

Anyone who’s worked in any field related to internet security for any length of time has used the term hacker, or had the term used on them. We don’t use this term in AlienVault documentation, and thanks to some questions from fellow wordgeeks outside the company, I wanted to talk about why that is. One of…