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Voice Mail

March 16, 1997|Janet Kinosian

Terminology used by voice-mail designers

bacon menu n. (from bacon and eggs) simple, easy-to-follow list of caller options.

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blowfish n. caller who cannot distinguish between the star key and pound key.

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cheater n. caller who pretends to have a rotary phone in order to bypass voice jail.

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grasshopper n. caller who ignores menu commands and randomly punches keys, potentially damaging the system.

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grunt distinction n. technology used by new voice-prompted systems that distinguish between a human voice and sounds such as coughing, sneezing, barking, screaming.

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rosie n. voice used to tape menu commands (from Rosie, the robot maid on "The Jetsons"). "The rosie's voice is too nasal, get someone else."

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voice jail n. cul-de-sac in menu-driven systems where pushing buttons only begets more options. "I tried calling America Online to complain but got trapped in voice jail."

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zen v. make the menu and instructions easier to understand. "This system is too confusing, we need to zen it down a bit."

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