January 4, 2010
Here’s one thing that we use daily that we’ve never had to use in previous generations: passwords.
With passwords comes that moment – you know the one – when you’re at someone’s computer and they need to login to something.
You make a big show of LOOKING IN THE OTHER DIRECTION, either by wandering away in as pointed a way as you can or by DELIBERATELY DOING SOMETHING ELSE. Whatever it is you choose to do, you do anything to make it look like you’re not staring over their shoulder at the secret combination of keys they’re tapping.
Watch it happening. It’s fascinating. Some people rub their eyes in a mock show of NOT LOOKING. Others make a joke of it: “I’ll just go OVER HERE while you do that”. Some people look up at the ceiling. Others check out their phone (phones are good for situations like this, or for that moment when the drunk person starts talking to you on a bus…)
However you do it, it seems clear to me that we need a verb to describe the action..
“I’ll just degaze myself while you do that”
“Sorry, let me chicago for a moment” (cmon 80’s kids, get with it…)
“You login – I’ll just offstare until you’re done”
Maybe some latin? Or rhyming slang?