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File Extensions Section - Back to the Menu

.com: The ending of a URL for a commercial or business Web site.

.doc: The extension Microsoft Word places at the end of its document names.

.edu: The ending of a URL for an educational institution’s Web site.

.gif: An extension placed at the end of a graphic filename on the Web (a file format for a Web graphic).

.gov: The ending of a URL for a government Web site.

.htm: A file extension used to identify HTML documents to Web browsers.

.html: A file extension used by Windows 95 or higher, Macintosh, and UNIX computers to identify HTML documents to Web browsers.

.jpg (.jpeg): An extension placed at the end of a graphic filename on the Web (a file format for a Web graphic). Short for Joint Photographic Expert Group format.

.mil: The ending of a URL for a military Web site.

.net: The ending of a URL for a network gateway or host Web site.

.org: The ending of a URL for a private organization’s Web site.

.txt: An extension placed at the end of a document saved in text format.

.wpd: The extension WordPerfect places at the end of its document names.

Numbers Section Back to the Menu

24/7: Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

360-Degree Evaluation: A model of assessing employee performance that takes into account the input provided by multiple reviewers having various relationships with the employee such as manager, coworker, subordinate, and client.

401(k) Plan: A pension plan that allows employees to contribute to a tax deferred retirement account. The employer can choose to contribute or match a percentage of the employee's contribution.

A Section Back to the Menu

Acceptable Use Policy (AUP): Policies first published by universities that hosted the early Internet. They state the appropriate and inappropriate uses for the Internet and how it should be managed.

Accessibility: In technical communications, to place or highlight the most important information in a way that makes it easy to find. This may be accomplished through the use of headings, hyperlinks, or other methods that focus the reader’s attention toward the most important topics.

Account Manager: The person in direct contact with a client who passes the client’s ideas or requests to others in the company and presents the company’s work or products to the client.

Account Teams: Sales and support workgroups organized around a specific customer or a group of related clients or customers.

Accounts Payable: The department responsible for paying a company’s bills, including payments to outside contractors, and tracking amounts owed by the company.

Accounts Receivable: The department that handles incoming payments and tracks the amounts owed to a company.

Acronym: An abbreviation or series of capital letters that represent a phrase.

Active Server: Active servers can deliver dynamic Web pages. These servers can constantly update information to Web browser clients and can provide a number of active windows or screens for Web site visitors. Active servers don't wait for requests, but generate new, interactive browser windows.

ActiveX: A Microsoft standard that allows traditional applications to work with each other online and over the Internet and World Wide Web.

Actuary: An employee who analyzes data to calculate the financial costs to companies of occurrences like death, injury, retirement, and property loss due to accidents or crimes. This information can help corporations determine how much insurance they need and make other business decisions. Actuaries need a strong mathematics background.

Ad Agencies: Businesses that specialize in advertising and in creating advertisements.

Addressable Advertising: Advertising in which different commercials or ads can be shown to different demographic groups who are watching the same television programs or visiting the same Web pages.

Adjuster: An person in the insurance industry who analyzes claims and solves problems for clients. If a corporation makes a claim on an insurance policy, the adjuster will examine the claim and see whether it meets with the specifics of the policy.

Administrative Assistant: An employee who manages the continuous flow of information, monitors deadlines, and facilitates the completion of projects.

Advertising Mix: Set of advertisements or promotions. The mix can include any combination of print, television, radio, billboard, or online advertisements.

Advocate: A person who speaks, writes, or acts in support of another person, a group, an organization, or a cause.

Affiliate: An organization associated with another organization, typically in a subordinate position.

Affiliate Sites: Web sites providing links to other ecommerce sites in exchange for commissions.

Affirmative Action: A set of positive steps employers use to promote equal employment opportunity and to eliminate discrimination.

After Market Sales: Sales of additional, related products after the initial product is sold.

Aggregating: The bringing together of resources. For example, Internet portal sites aggregate or collect and bring together information from all over the Web.

Air: White space around text and graphics in documents and on Web pages.

Airtime: Originally associated with radio, the amount of broadcast time allocated to a specific program or promotion. The term has been applied to television and broadband Internet programs as well. For example, television airtime can be purchased by candidates running for office and used to share their political message. Corporations purchase airtime for their branding campaigns.

Analog: A communications device, channel, or method using continuous frequencies and amplitudes to carry sounds, visual representations, or other information. Analog signals are representations of the original message.

Analogy: A comparison of something new to something familiar.

Analyst: Person who examines the financial transactions and use of assets in a company.

Animation:  Artificial moving images such as those used in cartoons.

Annual Report: A yearly report showing the financial status of the corporation prepared primarily for stockholders.

Antitrust: Legislation or lawsuits forwarded by the government that attempt to break up monopolies that dominate in their respective industries. Designed to increase competition in business.

Applicant: Person applying for a job or other position.

Archive: The process of storing files for later retrieval (verb) or a storage facility or device (noun).

Ascending Order: Alphabetically, ascending order starts with A and proceeds through the alphabet to the letter Z. Numerically, the number 1 would be first in the order followed by 2, 3, etc. Ascending order is the opposite of descending order.

Assets: A company's money and other resources that have a monetary value.

Audience: In technical communications, the person the message is directed toward; the intended receiver of the message.

Audience Analysis: A study of the person(s) the message or training is directed toward.

Attrition: Loss of personnel in an organization in the course of normal business operations.

Audience Flow:Customer traffic. For example, audience flow at a trade show event would have customers entering and participating in a trade show booth. Audience flow in new media might inform customers through television and radio advertisements of additional information and resources available on the Web.

Auditor: Person who checks the company records for accuracy, completeness, and reliability.

Automated: Using computer technologies and computer software to solve problems or to perform routine operations.


B SectionBack to the Menu

Baby Boomers: Members of the Baby Boom Generation, a large generation of Americans born between 1946 and 1965.

Background Color: The overall color of a slide, over which other images or colors are layered. A backdrop color.

Balance Sheet: A statement that summarizes a company's financial position at a particular time, showing the company’s assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity.

Bandwidth:  The amount of digital information that can be transmitted in a specific amount of time. The rate at which information can be transmitted along an electronic communications line.

Banner Advertisement:  Text and/or images that promote products or services and appear on a World Wide Web page. The ads derive their name from early banner ads which were shaped like long rectangles that resembled banners. If you click on a banner ad, you will probably be taken to a larger, more comprehensive advertisement.

Banner Blindness: Tendency of Web users to ignore or be unaware of banner advertisements on Web pages.

Base Salary: An employee's salary, excluding benefits or bonuses.

Benchmark: To discover a competitive salary for a given position by seeing what other companies are paying for a comparable position.

Benefit: Any form of compensation other than the employee's regular paycheck.

Benefits Package: Anything a business provides employees beyond the base salary, such as health care insurance, family leave, child care, or retirement plans.

Beta Testing: Testing a product outside the lab with real customers. Usually performed prior to general release to remove any bugs that were not caught in development with other types of product testing.

Biannual: Coming twice a year; semiannual.

Biography (Bio): A short summary or history of a person's professional background, outside interests, accomplishments, and talents.

Bits per Second (Bps):  Standard measurement of digital data transmission.

Boilerplate: Standard text that provides stock answers to important questions or comments regarding certain issues. A writing device that saves time because answers and descriptions are prepared in advance of their actual use.

Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ): Any requirement that can be proved essential to the performance of a certain job.

Bonus: An extra payment made to employees above the normal wage or salary.

Bookkeeper: Person who keeps the financial records of a company.

Brand: A recognizable name or symbol that distinguishes one company's products or services from the competition.

Brand Association: Linking of a strong brand with another brand, sponsor, event, or promotion to increase sales. Establishing a brand name and its images, graphics, symbols, or logos in the mind of the consumer. 

Brand Loyalty: Attachment felt by a customer for a particular product or company brand. 

Brand Name Labels: Information appearing on products identifying the company marketing and selling that merchandise. For example, clothes sold by the Gap will carry the Gap label.

Brand Retention: Remembering of a brand name by a customer following exposure to advertising for that brand. Brand retention increases based on the frequency with which customers hear of the brand.

Branding: Creating associations in the mind of the customer that link products to product and brand names. This increases the recognition factor and contributes to more effective advertising. Putting logos and brand names on products to increase company recognition.

Breakout Session: Conference session for a subset of conference attendees. (A general session, in contrast, would involve all conference attendees.) For example, a sales training conference could have a breakout session about ecommerce.

Brick-and-Mortar Store: Traditional, physical store or other business establishment (as opposed to a virtual, online store).

Broadband: High-speed network or Internet connection transporting voice, data, and full-motion video at a minimum of 1.5 million bits of information per second.

Broadbanding: In compensation structures, use of a wide or comprehensive salary range.

Broadcast:  To distribute or disseminate information over a large geographical area, as with television and radio. Broadcast channels are usually point-to-multipoint methods of delivery.

Broadcast Networks: Radio or television companies broadcasting programs to a wide audience. Famous broadcast networks include NBC, BBC, CBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox.

Browser: A program that allows users to view Web pages and online information.

Buildings and Grounds: Department that maintains the grounds, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, electricity, and other environmental controls.

Bulk Mail: Special mailing rate provided to business customers, including direct mail and catalog businesses, that is a fraction of the rate charged to first-class and priority-mail customers. Visit the business resources section on the United States Postal Service Web site at for current rates.

Bundle: Several products grouped together to improve the sales potential of the bundled package.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The research arm of the Department of Labor. It publishes the Occupational Outlook Handbook, catalogs jobs, and tracks economic trends.

Buyers: Employees responsible for purchasing products or product lines to be sold through retail outlets. For example, a buyer might purchase a line of winter coats to be sold through a retail chain like Wal-Mart or Sears.

C SectionBack to the Menu

CAD (Computer-Aided Design Software): Computer software used for architectural and mechanical drafting.

Cafeteria Plan: A plan that allows employees to select the benefits they want from a group of benefits offered by the employer; also called a flexible benefit plan.

Capital: Assets, such as money, equipment, or machinery, used to produce goods and services.

Case Study: Intensive analysis of a specific problem or situation. For example, an aspect or problem of a business can be analyzed and studied in detail. All relevant information is presented in a case study.

Cash Cows: Highly profitable business units, products, or product lines.

Cash Flow: The company’s cash position (funds available for operations and expansion), which is normally in a constant state of change.

Casual Audience: Readers for interest and background knowledge, not for any serious or pressing need. These readers usually do not demand detail and their expertise is limited.

Catch Phrases:  Easy-to-remember words or slogans drawing attention to something important. Often used in advertising.

Channel: A product sales distribution system.

Channel Bars: Series of buttons on a computer interface allowing one-click or voice access to Internet or Intranet sites.

Channel Partners: Businesses working with other businesses to create sales and product distribution systems for the mutual benefit of all partners.

Charter: A grant of rights or permissions given under the laws of a state, nation, or other legal entity.

Checklist Performance Evaluation Method: A procedure used in employee performance evaluations during which characteristics of good job performance are listed and points are awarded for characteristics that are observed.

Civil Laws: Laws that deal with commercial disputes or torts between people, corporations, and other entities.

Classified Ad: An advertisement for a job or position, also known as a "want ad."

Clerk: Employee responsible for keeping records in a company.

Click-Through Rates: Rates at which customers click on banner ads or other links.

Click-Throughs: When a customer clicks on an advertisement or link and visits the linked Web site, with at least one page of the site completely displayed on the visitor's monitor.

Clients: A term applied to any computer that has the necessary software to connect to the Internet and receive data from servers that have compatible server software.

Clutter: Market confusion created by too many products and their associated advertising and promotions.

COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act): A law that provides an option for the employee to continue company-sponsored health insurance coverage at the employee's expense for at least 18 months after the employee leaves the company.

Code: Written form of a body of law.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): A set of administrative and procedural regulations for carrying out the laws in the United States Code. The CFR is published by administrative agencies or executive departments under the authority granted by Congress in the United States Code.

Coding: Creation of programming code or instructions that computers and computerized devices can understand.

Colleagues: Peers or fellow workers, usually in the same profession.

Color Proof:  Full-color page showing exactly how the page in a book will appear. Color proofs are provided to editors as part of a final review and editing process. The purpose of color proofs is to catch any and all mistakes before a publication is printed.

Color Scheme:  A set of colors used for a project.

COMDEX: A trade show where companies can exhibit and publicize their products.

Commission: Fee paid to a salesperson or agent for closing a sale, expressed as a percentage of the selling price.

Communications Channels:The means by which messages are sent and received. For example, television, radio, email, Web pages, magazines, and newspapers are considered channels.

Company Fact Sheet:  A document listing the vital statistics of a corporation.

Compensation: Monetary payment or benefits received for services; for example, wages received by the employee from the company.

Competitive Advantage: A favorable position over competing companies because of conditions such as paying higher employee salaries or producing superior products.

Complementary Colors:  Colors that appear directly opposite each other on a color wheel.

Composite Score: One score derived by averaging or adding several scores together.

Compression:  Process that reduces file size, allowing data to be stored in less storage space than usual. Compression allows information to be transmitted over the Internet more easily because fewer bits of information need to be transmitted.

Compression Ratios:  A comparison between the original file size or space requirements and the space required to store compressed data, represented as a ratio.

Computer-to-Plate:  Printing process that bypasses many of the traditional steps in professional printing (such as the transfer of printed page information to film before making plates) by sending digital data directly from a computer to the printing press.

Concierge: Hotel employee who assists guests with finding and accessing local resources such as restaurants, tours, or local transportation.

Confidential: Private or secret, to be shared only with appropriate individuals. Information such as client files, business plans, and employee records are considered confidential.

Consumer Product: Product commonly used by a large number of consumers where price is a very strong value-positioning variable.

Consumer Reports: A magazine published by the Consumers Union, a product testing organization that compares products objectively for quality, price, and customer satisfaction. There is also a Consumer Reports Web site.

Contacts:  Interested potential customers who leave contact information (name, address, phone, email) with a sales representative.

Content Channels: Connections to an information provider. Common content categories include travel, investing, hobbies, technology, and news. Content channels are also provided by television and radio.

Contrasting Colors: Colors that are easily differentiated from each other.

Controller: The chief accountant in an organization responsible for operation of the accounting system and other duties such as overseeing tax filings, budgets, and financial reporting. The controller often supervisors other Accounting employees.

Convergence: A coming together. New media convergence is created when traditional print and broadcast media merge with Web- and Internet-based technologies. In the future, customers will see very little separation between their Internet connections and their television and radio connections. Convergence will merge these media into a single multipoint-to-multipoint service.

Conversion Rates: The rates at which Web site visitors actually convert into paying customers.

Cookies: Files that store information about a user's choices and preferences when accessing or navigating the World Wide Web. These files are used to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. For example, some sites use cookies to identify advertisements the user has just seen so that a different ad will be placed on the next Web page viewed.

Copyediting:  Editing of written material for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and consistency.

Copyright: A form of legal protection for original written or performance works.

Corporate Communications: Department that writes and edits technical communications such as letters, memos, FAXes, Intranet pages, Extranet pages, Web pages, advertising copy, magazine articles, press releases, job descriptions, usability reports, white papers, and quarterly and annual reports.

Corporation: Business incorporated under state laws with multiple owners.

Cost Effective: Something that makes or saves money in comparison with its cost.

Credit Lines: Advance of credit, or amount of money that can be borrowed against, as offered by a bank, credit union, or some other source.

Criminal Law: Law dealing with crimes against the public that are punishable by imprisonment and/or fines.

Critical Path: The shortest time between the beginning of a project and its completion.

Cromalins:  Preprinted copy resembling a photographic printed original used to evaluate what a final printed product will look like. Cromalins are composed of thin sheets of plastic, each having a colored dye layer.

Cross-Selling: Using the popularity or brand recognition of one product to promote another product. For example, a company that sells a popular mountain bike may promote a matching helmet or a T-shirt that carries the emblem or logo of the bike on it.

Customer Information Database (CID): Database containing information on customers and the products they buy.

Customer Support: Department responsible for helping customers get the most out of the company's products and services. Customer Support helps troubleshoot products for customers over the phone, through email, FAX inquiries, letters, and the corporate Web site. Increasingly, Customer Support personnel are being brought into the marketing and sales effort by informing customers of new products, product enhancements, value-added products, and upgrades. CS operators also provide customer feedback to R&D, Marketing, and Sales.


D SectionBack to the Menu

Database: Type of electronic file organized into fields, records, and tables optimized for storing and retrieving data. A collection of information and a management system that allows rapid queries (requests for information) and retrieval of data.

Decision-Making Audience: Readers that look for relevant information upon which decisions can be made. Decision makers are profit, development, or implementation oriented. They may not know any more about a subject than a casual reader, but they will make decisions based upon the information presented.

Defaults: The settings the computer or computer software automatically implements.

Defined Benefit Pension Plan: A retirement plan with clearly stated benefits that is funded by the employee and the employer or solely by the employer.

Demographics: Characteristics, habits, interests, and behaviors of a segment of the population.

Descending Order: Alphabetically, descending order starts with the letter Z and proceeds through the alphabet to the letter A. Numerically, the number 3 precedes the numbers 2 and 1. Descending order is the opposite of ascending order.

Desktop Applications: Programs designed to help users accomplish a task, such as word processing or desktop publishing.

DHTML: Microsoft’s extension to HTML that allows users to move and manipulate objects around Web pages as easily as they manipulate icons and windows in their Windows operating system.

Digital: A communications device, channel, or method using discrete values—as in the zeros and ones generated by a computer. Digital communications technology permits higher transfer rates than similar analog technology.

Digital Signatures: A programming method or algorithm used to assign authentication, like a personal signature for electronic, digital transmissions.

Digital Versatile Discs/Digital Video Discs (DVD): A high-capacity digital storage medium similar to CD-ROM and able to store huge amounts of data.

Direct Marketing: Marketing approach that may use a variety of promotional media to reach customers directly. For example, a direct mail campaign might send promotional materials and coupons through the traditional mail to customers. Online direct email campaigns could give customers a chance to purchase a product directly from a manufacturer.

Disclaimer: Legal notice that limits corporate liabilities and defines the responsibilities of the corporation and its customers.

Discrimination: Partiality or bias in the treatment of people, which is unfair or illegal.

Disparate Treatment: Treating certain individuals differently from other individuals.

Disposable Income: Extra income after all essential living expenses (including food, shelter, and medical needs) have been paid.

Diversify: When a company offers a wider variety of products and product lines.

Dividends: Payments made to shareholders based on the number of shares they hold and their share of corporate profits.

Division: A part of a company that performs a specific function or focuses on a unique aspect of the company's business. TeleView is a division of the Corporate View corporation.

Docuteching:  A high-speed digital printing system providing high-quality printing at a fraction of traditional printing costs.

Dogs: Products, product lines, or business units that habitually lose money.

Domain Name Service (DNS): System where domain names, such as, are converted to a set of IP numbers, such as

Domain Names: Names used on the Web to identify Web sites.

Domestic: Referring to one's own country. As opposed to international, meaning outside one's country.

Dot Coms: Internet companies having Web site addresses that end in .com.

Downsizing: Consolidation of a company; euphemism for "laying off" or "firing" workers.

Due Process: In employment settings, a procedure that provides employees the opportunity to defend and explain their actions, especially against charges of misconduct.

E Section – Back to the Menu

Earnings Statement: A document that summarizes company revenues and expenses for a particular period of time and shows a net profit or loss. Also called an income statement.

Ebooks: Electronic books, including those that can be downloaded from the Internet and read on a computer screen or with an electronic book reader of some kind.

Ebrands: Recognizable names or symbols used to market products or services on the Internet and distinguish the products or services from the competition.

Ecommerce: Business conducted electronically, as in making purchases or selling products via the World Wide Web.

Ecommerce Session: Any continuous online selling or buying experience.

Economy of Scale: An economic principle where the per-unit price of a manufactured product declines as more units are produced. Because of the high cost of establishing a manufacturing process, the first unit costs more to produce than the five-hundredth, and the five-hundredth unit costs more than the five-thousandth. This economy of scale impacts price. The lower the production cost per unit, the lower the unit price can be. When applied to the Internet, the greater the number of connected users, the lower the overall cost for individual users. Or, in another example, the greater number of email messages sent, the lower the cost per individual email message.

Efficiency of Scale: A concept derived from the economy-of-scale principle, which means the more units existing on a system, the more efficient the system becomes. For example, an email system with 320 million users is a more efficient communications system than one with only 100 million users. On a technical level, a system with greater bandwidth (transmission capability) is more efficient in moving data than a system with a lesser bandwidth.

Electronic Mail (Email): Messages sent electronically from one computer to another.

Electronic Traps: Decision-making loops. Common in automated telephone systems and on Web pages, where customers are asked to make selections, which fail to lead them to needed and desired information.

Emblems: Graphics, pictures, or icons often used as logos.

Eminent Domain: The right of a local, state, or federal government to acquire the property of corporations or individuals for the public's benefit.

Employee Assistance Program: A program provided by the employer to help employees with mental health, substance abuse, or personal problems and to provide them with counseling.

Employee Handbook: A reference book or document that contains specified information; for example, the policies and procedures related to employment at a particular company.

Employment-at-Will: An employment relationship in which both the employer and an employee have the right to end the employment relationship at any time, without notice, for any reason or no reason (excepting reasons that are unlawful, such as discrimination).

Encrypted: When a message is encrypted, it is encoded or scrambled to make its contents unreadable by unauthorized people.

Entrepreneur: A person who organizes and manages an independent business or industrial undertaking.

EPS (Earnings Per Share): The earnings (net profit or loss) of a company for a particular period divided by the number of shares of stock.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO): A situation that exists when employers do not discriminate in employment procedures or practices on the basis of race, national origin, color, age, religion, disability, gender, or other factors.

Ergonomics: The science of designing workplace environments and equipment to promote the physical health of employees.

E-tailers: Retail merchants selling products on the Internet.

Ethnicity: Classification in or affiliation with a population subgroup having a common cultural heritage or nationality as distinguished by customs, language, characteristics, or common history.

Evaluation Survey: A series of questions given to employees to determine their views about the content and delivery of training they have received.

Expert Audience: Readers that know a great deal about the subject being presented. They have a high level of background knowledge. They demand details and want to know every possible bit of information.

Extranet: An information-sharing electronic network between two or more companies.

E-zines: Electronic magazines such as one found on the World Wide Web.


F Section – Back to the Menu

FAX: Short for facsimile. Technology transmitting "pictures" of documents. The original documents are scanned and transformed into signals that can be transmitted, received by another FAX or computer, reproduced, and printed.

FCC (Federal Communications Commission): A government agency regulating communications.

FDA (Food and Drug Administration): A federal agency regulating food and drugs that protects the nation's food supply and the safety of over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

Fair Employment Practice Laws (FEP): Regulations that cover small businesses and other employers with fewer than 15 employees, which are not covered by some federal laws.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): A law that allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for childcare after the birth or adoption placement of a child; care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or serious health conditions that make the employee unable to perform job duties.

Feedback: Information regarding a message or as a result of a message that flows from receivers to senders is called feedback. Feedback includes two-way interactivity between sender and receiver.

Field: Database element containing one specific type of information in a record. For example, in an address database, one record might contain the name, address, and phone number for one particular person. One field might contain the person's name or the city in which she or he lives.

Fieldwork: Observing how products are used in real-life situations.

File Extensions: Letters added after a filename to indicate a type or format. See the File Extensions section.

Film Flats:  Prepress printing process where film negatives are assembled into  “flats,” which are used to create printing plates in a process known as  “stripping.” Once the film is stripped, it is either proofed or plated.

Finance and Accounting: Department that keeps track of the numbers, the dollars and numerical values that flow in and out of a corporation. These numerical values or numbers track the resources, assets, and value of the company's stock and investment portfolio. Finance and Accounting tracks profit and loss. This tracking provides data that are turned into reports to help the decision makers in the corporation make informed judgments and decisions about the future of the company.

Firewall: Electronic barrier preventing unauthorized access to a computer or computer network. A digital fence or virtual boundary maintained by computers and software that stops unauthorized visitors to corporate Intranets.

Fiscal Year: A twelve-month period designated by a business for accounting and reporting purposes.

Flash: A popular product developed by Macromedia Inc. that allows Web designers to create resizable and compact navigation interfaces, illustrations, animations, and other special effects for Web sites.

Flat-File Database: Database formed with a database table consisting of records, fields and the corresponding data. The database software can only query one table of data at a time. Records from two or more database tables cannot be cross-referenced to generate a third table of data.

Flexible Benefit Plan: A plan that allows employees to select the benefits they want from a group of benefits offered by the employer; also called a cafeteria plan.

Flexible Spending Plan: A plan that allows employees to set up a tax-deferred account that can be used to reimburse certain expenses such as health care, life insurance, vision care, disability insurance, and childcare. The employee will forfeit any dollars placed in a flexible spending plan that are not used by the end of the year.

Floor Space:  The area of a convention center designated for vendor booths or displays.

Flowchart: A diagram that shows the steps of a procedure and the amount of time each step requires.

Focus Group: A group of people assembled and surveyed by a marketing research team to help gather data about products and market segments.

Footers: Information attached to the bottom of a document or the bottom of each page of a document. In a printed document, footer information may include the date, page number, and other document information. In email, footers often provide a return email address, mailing address information, and anecdotal information about the author. On Web pages, footers provide navigation assistance and copyright notices.

Forced Distribution Method: A procedure for ranking employees wherein employee evaluation scores are distributed along a bell curve regardless of the employees' overall contributions to the company.

Foreground Colors:   On slides, colors used for text or objects that appear layered over other objects. For example, blue can be used as a foreground color for text that is layered on top of a textured slide background.

Form View: A way to look at database records displaying the records and fields in a way that is convenient for users (as opposed to in a table).

Fortune 500: Fortune magazine's list of the 500 most profitable companies in the world.

Free Agents: Independent contractors who work for others, usually on a project-by-project basis. Also called freelancers.

Freelancers:  Independent contractors who work for others, usually on a project-by-project basis.

Freeware: Any free software that may be downloaded from the Net or obtained from other sources.

Frequency: Important marketing variable specifying how often a customer is exposed to advertising for a product. A marketing principle proposing that the more times a customer hears and sees a branded product, the greater the likelihood of the customer making a purchasing decision and developing brand awareness, brand association, and brand loyalty.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): A list of questions often asked by users of a system and the corresponding answers.

Fringe Benefits: Benefits that are optionally provided at the employer's discretion, such as health care insurance, vacation, holidays, sick time, retirement plans, and stock options.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol): A communications system used to transfer data over networks. FTP allows files to be transferred from your computer to an Internet, Intranet, or Web server.


G Section – Back to the Menu

Gantt Chart: A chart that shows how long it takes to complete each step in a sequence and the time needed to complete the entire project.

Gender: The condition of being a male or female human being.

General Ledger: An account book or system that includes all the accounts needed to prepare a balance sheet.

General to Specific: A technical communications principle whereby important, general information appears at the top of the document and specific details follow. Considered essential to the successful execution of most short business documents.

Gopher: An Internet navigation system using a hierarchy of descriptive menus that allows users with Gopher client software to identify and access information on Gopher servers.

Greeking: Use of random characters, foreign words, or lines instead of text on thumbnails or rough sketches. This allows the user to concentrate on the overall appearance of a page. The actual text that will be used is inserted later.

Gross Margin: Gross profit expressed as a percentage of sales. See Gross Profit. 

Gross Profit: Money received from sales minus the cost of goods sold; other expenses such as advertising or rent have not been deducted.

Groupware: Personal information management software designed to be used by groups.


H Section – Back to the Menu

Hard Copy: A paper copy of a document.

Harmonious Colors:   Colors to the near-left or near-right of a selected color on the color wheel.

Headers: Information attached to the top of the document or to the top of each page of a document. In a printed document, header information may include the date, page number, and other document information. In email, headers may include the routing information of how the email message was delivered through the Internet. On a Web page, the header information is hidden from the viewer and can be seen by revealing the HTML tags.

Headhunter: A person whose job it is to find qualified job applicants for companies.

Headhunter Firm: A company that finds qualified people for specific jobs.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): A managed care plan that provides employees with a small network of doctors and facilities that provide a wide range of services for a fixed fee to employers.

Hits: The number of times a Web page has been accessed or the number of items found in response to a search query.

Home Page: The main, opening, or welcome page on a Web site. See Web Page.

Hook: Something that will interest a reader, viewer, or listener. Some kind of information that attracts instant attention.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol): A communications system used by Web and Intranet servers to communicate with Web and Intranet clients.

Human Resources Management: The formal processes that support the needs, talents, and performance of employees to accomplish a company's strategic mission.

Human Resources: Department responsible for assisting each business unit in hiring and training the finest possible workforce. As part of this mandate, HR manages employee services and benefits. These services and benefits can help attract, motivate, and retain a highly talented, committed workforce. HR promotes the fair and equitable treatment of all employees. It also provides training opportunities that will allow employees to improve job skills.

Hypermedia:  Technologies allowing text, graphics, and multimedia to be hyperlinked to additional information.

Hypertext Markup Language ( HTML): Authoring language used for Web and Intranet documents.


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Icons:  Pictures, graphics, or artistic representations. Often used in printed or new-media documents to signal readers about content or instructions. For example, an icon of a printer might be used to indicate that users should print a document.

Impression: A Web site visitor being exposed one time to an advertisement. To constitute an impression, an ad must be allowed to fully display in the customer's browser.

Impulse Items: Products that are purchased without much forethought, often as a result of cross selling or strategic placement of items in a store or on a Web site. 

Incident: Any separate service-related interaction with a customer.

Incident Report Database (IRD): Database in which customer support incidents are recorded.

Incorporation: The process of creating a corporation.

Industry Analysts: Professionals with specialized backgrounds who evaluate products for consumers or other businesses. Analysts often compare the performance of products in a product category against each other to show the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Industry-Based Press:  That portion of the press dedicated to reporting events in a specific industry. For example, the entertainment sector, the travel sector, or the computer and technology sector.

Industry Sector(s): A specific area of business focus that produces similar products or services for customers having similar economic interests. Examples include the medical sector, the technology sector, the transportation sector, and the legal sector.

Information Technology: Department responsible for maintaining the corporate network and communications infrastructure; installing software and hardware upgrades; and maintaining and repairing computers, printers, and other information appliances that contribute to the functioning of each corporate workgroup, function, division, and business unit. IT manages all the technical aspects of the corporate Web site, the Intranet, and any Extranets that have been set up with corporate partners.

Infrastructure: Sum of all physical elements required to make a system work. For example, on the Internet, the infrastructure includes all hardware and connections (including cables, wireless transceivers, and receivers) making the system work. Roads are considered part of the infrastructure in a transportation system, and plumbing is likewise considered part of the infrastructure in a water management system.

In-Home Ads: Advertisements on a corporation's own Web site.

Ink Jet:  High-resolution, photo-quality printing technique using four colors (often known by the acronym CMYK). The colors include cyan (green-blue), magenta (bright purple), yellow, and black which are dispensed from ink jet printing heads. Often used in making originals and color proofs.

Inline Links:  Links appearing in lines of text, such as a hyperlinked word in the middle of a sentence.

Intellectual Property Rights: Certain legal rights and privileges granted to individuals and corporations that create something new, different, useful, and potentially profitable.

Interactivity: An exchange of information between senders and receivers of information. Interactivity will often alter the information sent and received by senders and receivers.

Interfaces:  Things that connect separate entities. For example, a user interface connects people to software programs, making computers user-friendly or easy to use and understand.

Internet: A public, worldwide computer network made up of smaller, interconnected networks.

Internet Appliance: Digital device not classified as a personal computer connecting to the Internet. For example, a wireless digital phone that reads email is an Internet appliance.

Internet Service Provider (ISP): An Internet company or organization that provides customer connections to the Internet and related services.

Interview: A meeting, usually face-to-face, used to assess an applicant's qualifications or suitability for a job.

Intranet: A computer network within a corporation or organization that is meant for the use of its employees or members.

IP (Internet Protocol) Number: Every computer on the World Wide Web, the Internet, and a corporate Intranet has its own distinct IP number. These numbers allow information to travel from specific computer to specific computer over the Net.

IRS (Internal Revenue Service): The U.S. government agency responsible for the taxation of individuals and corporations.

Iterative Process:  A repetitive system whereby work flows back and forth between individuals. In publishing, revisions are made and checked repeatedly to ensure quality and accuracy.

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Java: A programming language that creates programs called applets. Applets can be added to Web page documents.

JavaScript: Software that allows Web page developers to add features to a Web document without having to use expensive compilers normally associated with programming languages like C++ and Java.

Job Board: An online service that lists career and job positions.

Job Description: A listing of the duties and responsibilities an employee is hired to fulfill. May also include information about the work environment and the skills, experience, and education required for the job.

Job Environment: The unique setting and working conditions of a job.

Joint Venture: Business partnership between two or more companies.


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Know-how Analysis: A study of the specific tasks and duties that someone must "know how to do" to be successful on the job.

Know-How Skills Deficit: A condition that exists when employees do not have the skills they need to be effective on the job.


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Landscape:  Orientation of the printed page where the longer side of a rectangular page is positioned at the top. For example, a standard sheet of letter paper is 11 by 8.5 inches in landscape orientation.

Leads:  Information potentially leading to new customers and increased sales.

Learning Style: The way a person acquires new skills, knowledge, or information. Examples of learning styles are visual, auditory, tactile, and interactive learning styles.

Legal Notices: Documents posted at Web sites to protect the rights of the sponsoring company or organization or to detail the responsibilities of the company or site visitors. Typical legal notices include terms of use policies, copyright notices, and privacy policies.

Legal Services: Department that manages corporate contracts, protects product patents and trademarks from infringement, protects intellectual property, and represents the corporate interest in court and in product liability, employment, equity, and fairness litigation. Legal Services advises employees from other departments regarding legal matters.

Length: In technical communications, the size of the message often defined in terms of word count, page count, or in the duration of a presentation. Length is an essential parameter that must be defined before development of a project begins.

Leverage: To use knowledge, skills, or other resources to one's advantage.

Liabilities: What a company owes to others.

Linear:  Arranged in a line or occurring in a sequential manner.

Liquid Assets: Cash or other assets that can be converted readily into cash.

Listservs: Devices used to send electronic information automatically to a predetermined list of clients.

Litigation: A lawsuit or court proceeding.

Localize: To adjust promotional materials and products to interest consumers in different cultures and countries.

Logo: A design or graphic representing a particular company.

Long Term: Occurring over a relatively long period of time. In business, this usually means over three years.


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Machinist: A person skilled in making, operating, or repairing machine tools or equipment.

Mailing List: A technique used to send email messages to a large list of subscribers all at once.

Management: Function responsible for managing the success of all the products, projects, employees, and resources of the corporation. Managers exist in every mission-critical function and in every strategic business unit.

Management by Objectives (MBO): A system based on clear, specific, measurable goals or objectives prepared by employees and managers. Performance is then measured by these goals.

Mandate: Authority to move ahead, to do something, or to act.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP): Price a manufacturer suggests to retailers as the price retailers should charge customers for a product.

Manufacturing: Department that handles the production of products.

Manuscript:  Originally a handwritten document. Today, manuscripts are often prepared on computers, but computer manuscripts are considered to be draft copies. They are not considered edited final drafts to be used for professionally printed versions of the final document.

Market: The broad audience or group of customers considered willing to spend money for a product or goods and services.

Market Niche: The specific audience for a specialized product or line of products who are considered potential buyers.

Market Research: The systematic study of marketing, sales, and customer support which provides information to decision-makers regarding marketing issues, problems, and opportunities. 

Market Sector: A focus on one industry from its beginning stages in research and development, into marketing and sales, through final customer support. For example, TeleView focuses on the electronics sector.

Market Segment: Part of a market that shares common interests and characteristics.

Market Share: The percentage of an industry controlled by a particular company.

Market-Driven: A system in which customer wants and needs drive the development of products and services. In a market-driven corporation, every product created must be practical and marketable.

Marketed: Past tense of market. The promotion of products or services for sale.

Marketing: A business function or department whose goal is to motivate people to investigate and purchase a company's products. In more general terms, marketing includes all of the activities needed to bring a company's products and services to customers. 

Marketing and Sales: The Marketing Department plans and carries out marketing and advertising campaigns for products and services. The Sales Department carries the marketing message to the customer to "conclude a sale," that is, exact payment from a customer and supply him or her with the product or service paid for.

Marketing Circle of Success (MCS): Business model whereby customer-oriented products and solutions are efficiently developed, brought to market, sold to customers, and supported throughout their life cycles. 

Marketing Collateral: Sum of marketing resources and tools used to promote products. These tools can include advertising, Web pages, packaging, pricing, and any other marketing tool or medium.

Marketing Manager (MM): Team leaders that direct the day-to-day activities of the marketing, sales, and support functions. Also called Product Marketing Manager.

Marketing Mix: The combination of advertising and promotional efforts aimed at a target audience.

Marketing Research Assistant: A person who researches marketing issues, problems, and opportunities, and reports the findings to decision makers. 

Marketplace: Any location or space (including digital spaces) where goods and services are bought and sold. 

Markup: Amount or percentage by which a seller increases the selling price of the goods over the amount paid to produce or purchase the goods.

Mass Media: Channels that share information with a large (massive) audience. Typically associated with radio, television, newspapers, and the World Wide Web, each allows the broadcasting of great quantities of information to a large potential audience.

Media: The plural form of medium. Often used to describe mass media as in newspapers, television, and radio. Related to training, the means by which information or training is delivered such as in print or online.

Media Filters:  Elements of the press (radio, television, newspapers, magazines) that rephrase and interpret information provided by corporations. In filtering information, the media alter the message the consumer reads or hears.

Medicare: A government-sponsored health care plan that provides medical coverage to individuals who are full Social Security retirement age and older. Employees and their employers contribute to Medicare during the employees' working years.

Medium: In communications, the means or form in which data or information is transmitted or received. This can be hard copy paper as well as electronic forms, including but not limited to television, radio, and online forums such as World Wide Web pages. Any storage device is also a medium, such as DVD, hard drives, or diskettes.

Merchandising: Placement and display of products in retail stores to attract attention and stimulate sales.

Messages: Any communications—printed, electronic, digital, or verbal—that a sender shares with a receiver.

Middlemen: Business people who buy from suppliers and sell to wholesalers, retailers, or directly to consumers.

Mirror Site: A duplicate of an original Web site.

Mission Statement: A statement of the goals, priorities, and beliefs of a company.

Mission-Critical: Essential to the success of the organization. For example, marketing is a mission-critical function of a business.

Multimedia:  Any combination of two or more of the following media: text, audio, graphics, and video.

Multinational Corporation: A corporation that has units in two or more nations.

Multiple-Evaluator Method: A procedure used in employee performance evaluations during which input from more than one person is used in assessing employee performance.

Multi-Tasked: Being able to perform many activities or tasks at the same time.


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Name Recognition: When a name of a product or company is widely known by consumers. For example, IBM is a more readily recognized brand name than Mike’s Supercomputer Warehouse.

Narrowband: Low-speed network or Internet connection transporting voice, data, and streaming video slower than 1.5 million bits of information per second. Usually associated with slow modem speeds. The terms narrowband and wideband have become synonymous. The term wideband has been dropped in favor of the term narrowband.

NASDAQ: A stock exchange, like the New York Stock Exchange.

Navigate: To plot or follow a path to a desired destination. Related to the World Wide Web, to move through the links or pages of a Web site or sites.

Navigation Bars: Web-page graphic images having links to other places at the Web site.

Needs Analysis: Related to training, a study of the skills required to do a job, the skills the employee has, and the training required to eliminate skills deficits.

Net Profit: Amount of money received from sales minus all the expenses of business operations.

Netiquette: Accepted rules of etiquette for online communications such as via electronic mail, the Internet, or an Intranet.

New Media: Digital media, complete with graphics, multimedia effects, and interactivity; normally associated with Web pages as seen on the Internet.

Newsgroups: Online discussion groups. Newsgroups exist for a multitude of topics and follow conversation threads. Newsgroup software looks and acts much like email software. An interactive communications system that allows participants to follow threads of a particular conversation or discussion with the help of Usenet newsreader clients. Tens of thousands of newsgroups involving millions of Internet users discuss virtually any topic imaginable online.

No-Fault: Without liability or legal responsibility. Worker's compensation is an example of a no-fault insurance system that pays medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages to employees who are injured on the job.

Noncontributory Pension Plan: A pension plan that is entirely funded by the employer.

Non-Disclosure Agreement: Legal document wherein an employee of a company agrees not to disclose or discuss sensitive company information with unauthorized individuals.

NYSE: New York Stock Exchange.


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Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH): A publication by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that provides a catalog of jobs and gives advice on how to find a job and evaluate a job offer.

Occupational Therapist: An employee within a corporation who works to solve employee injury and safety problems.

Organization: In technical communications, refers to how a document or presentation is structured or arranged. For the most part, technical documents and presentations should be organized so that general information and definitions are presented before specific details.

Organization Chart: A diagram that shows the hierarchical relationship between managers and employees in an organization.

Orientation: The process of becoming familiar with a situation or environment; for example, training sessions for newly hired employees.

Outsourcing: When a company hires another company or person to do a specific job that might otherwise be done by company employees.

Overhead: Business costs not associated directly with the cost of wages or materials used in making a product. Examples of overhead include rent, legal fees, and property taxes.

Owner Equity: A company’s assets minus its liabilities equals the owner equity. Also called net worth.


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Page Views: The number of times an individual Web page is seen by a visitor.

Pagination: The way pages in a document are organized, counted, calculated, and numbered.

Paper Trail: A series of documents, either paper or electronic, providing an accurate history of events, decisions, and actions.

Parameters: In technical communications, restrictions or rules that affect the message such as the required length, delivery medium, or time allowed for creating the message.

Partnership: A business owned by two or more people that is not incorporated.

Patent: A form of legal protection that confers exclusive rights to an invention for a specified length of time.

Patent Pending: A term applied to a product for which a patent application is under way, but the patent has not yet been granted.

Pay Grades: In compensation structures, designations of salary range and rank.

Payroll: Department whose main responsibility is the distribution of payments to employees.

PDA (Personal Digital Assistant): A hand-held computer used to plan and organize various tasks.

Peer Coaching: A method of employee improvement wherein an employee possessing certain know-how skills instructs or helps another employee attempting to learn those skills.

Peer Evaluation: When team members or others from the same position or rank contribute to the evaluation of a candidate or employee.

Performance Evaluations: Methods by which employees' know-how skills and job performances are assessed.

Performance Rating Scales: Systems used for recording performance measurements, usually in the form of numerical values.

Performance Review: A process for evaluating whether or how well an employee has accomplished the duties and responsibilities of her or his job or accomplished certain job goals.

Performance Standard: An established basis of comparison for how well employees accomplish their job tasks, duties, and responsibilities.

Peripheral: An extra device attached to a personal computer that is usually not considered standard equipment on a PC. Printers, joysticks, and digital appliances are examples of peripherals.

Perks: Benefits optionally provided at the employer's discretion, such as health care insurance, vacation, holidays, sick time, retirement plans, and stock options.

Personal Planner: Planner that contains addresses, notes, appointments, and other useful information. Usually in paper form.

Personality: In technical communications, the style, mood, flair, voice, tone, and attitude of a message or presentation.

Personalization: The use of interactive content that responds to the needs of the audience or that can be customized to meet customer needs.

Personnel: People employed by or active in an organization or business; employees.

PERT Chart: A chart that uses boxes and other graphics to show the relationships between activities.

PIM (Personal Information Management): Personal computer software that is used as a planner to organize tasks and appointments.

Pitch: When used as a verb, to present information in an effort to make a sale. When used as a noun, an attempt at making a sale, as in sales pitch. Information about a product shared directly with customers (including questions asked of customers) to heighten customer interest and lead to a sale.

Placement Center: Provides information about the availability of jobs inside and outside the corporation. May provide seminars or training on job seeking.

Portal: Relating to the Internet, gateways that assemble or access information in a convenient format so that users can search for and find information easily.

Positioning: A marketing term used to describe how a product is presented in relation to its competition.

Post: To upload or transfer HTML documents to a Web server for display on the World Wide Web. Documents may also be posted for display on a corporate Intranet.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): A health care plan that allows employees to choose from any number of doctors or facilities the insurance company has approved. The employee is not required to choose a primary care physician or to have a referral to specialists. The insurance company receives a discounted rate from the health care providers and facilities, making this a cost-effective plan for employers.

Premium: A payment made for health, life, or other insurance coverage.

Premiums:  Prizes or awards used to create and enhance the image of a commercial brand. Premiums are often distributed by corporations at trade shows.

Prepress:  Series of printing-related activities, including preparation, layout, composition, and editing, which must be accomplished prior to printing a final document.

Press Kit: A press kit is supplied to members of the press (media) and can usually be obtained by journalists upon request or before major events like conventions and new product releases. Sometimes a press kit is as simple as a folder filled with relevant press releases, product information, and company information. Increasingly, press kits are being made available online via the Web.

Press Release: A short document about some newsworthy subject, prepared for the media and other interested parties.

Price Point: The price set by Marketing managers that they determine is the price customers will accept and that will maximize profits for the corporation.

Primary Audience: The most important readership or receivers of a message. The audience best served by the information or that needs the information the most.

Primary Care Physician: A physician or medical group that provides basic medical care and, in some plans, provides referrals to specialists and for other health services.

Print Runs:  Actual printing of documents. An individual print run can consist of a single copy of a document or millions of copies of a book.

Private Sector: Economic activities, ventures, or organizations that operate independent of government control. Jobs in the private sector are in business, industry, or certain nonprofit organizations.

Problem-Solving Workgroup: A team created specifically to solve a problem.

Product Information Database (PID): Database cataloging information about products.

Product Life Cycle: Sales trends for a product beginning with early start-up sales, passing through an accelerated growth phase, reaching maturity as a product, and then declining somewhat before being revitalized or discontinued.

Product Line: A group of related merchandise, goods, services, or solutions that can be sold and marketed to customers.

Product Mix: The combination of products in a product line.

Product Workgroup: A team responsible for taking a product from research and development to market.

Product-Driven: A business model that is driven or pushed by the products a company markets and sells and the profit they can generate.  

Production Houses:   Companies that specialize in the development of media products, such as books, magazines, video production, new media, and other forms.

Production Schedule: Schedule determined by the manufacturing function of a corporation by which products are produced and delivered to customers.

Products: Merchandise, goods, services, or solutions that can be sold to a customer.

Professional Delivery: In technical communications, selecting the proper medium and using it effectively to communicate a business message. This includes supplying any necessary visual information that will add to the message.

Profiles: Data about customers indicating their interests and likelihood of buying particular products. Profiles are used to locate perfect-fit customers.

Profit: The total money remaining after all expenses have been paid.

Profit Margin: The total money remaining after all expenses have been paid; usually expressed as a percentage of sales.

Profit Sharing Plan: A plan that provides for a percentage of the company's profits to be distributed to the employees. An employee can usually choose a cash plan that pays quarterly or annually or a deferred plan that pays when the employee retires or leaves the company.

Project Planning Software: Computer software that helps in the organization of projects.

Proprietary: Privately developed and owned by a person or company.

Prospecting: Searching for customers. For example, following up on leads provided by business associates, mailing lists, or other customers.

Protocol: Communications system used to transfer data over networks. TCP/IP, HTTP, and FTP are examples.

Prototype: A sample product, or working model.

Public Domain: The condition of being free from copyright or patent restrictions and, thus, free for public use.

Public Sector: Economic activities, ventures, or services that are carried out by or controlled by government. Jobs in the public sector are in government agencies, the military, public education, and other areas run by the government.

Purchasing: The department that is responsible for buying goods for the company.

Purpose: In technical communications, the reason for creating the message. The purpose is synonymous with the objectives and goals of a communications project or message.

Push Technology: Technology that allows new information to be updated or "pushed" to a particular Web page.


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Quarter: A fiscal quarter is three continuous months of business activity. A quarter is one fourth of a fiscal year, which is a twelve-month period designated by a business for accounting and reporting purposes. The fiscal year often parallels the calendar year with the first quarter being January through March, the second quarter April through June, the third quarter July through September, and the fourth quarter October through December.

Query:  Request for information from a database.

QuickTime: A compressed video format created by Apple Computer Corp.


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Rags: A term derived from the historical use of rags to create newsprint for newspapers and magazines. The term often applies to industry and trade magazines.

Random Access:  Movement from an item to a nonadjacent item; that is, movement in a nonlinear or nonsequential manner.

Ranking Method: A procedure used in employee performance evaluations during which employees are scored from highest to lowest in terms of their overall performance. This is a comparative model and forces managers to compare employees with one another.

RealPlayer: Client and server supported software created by RealNetworks Inc. that allows streaming video and audio to be transmitted and displayed effectively over the Internet.

Real-Time:  As it happens, with a duration equal to the actually elapsed time. Often used as a synonym for the words right now and live.

Receivers: Those who get (hear, read, see) a message from a sender.

Recession: An economic downturn characterized by higher than usual unemployment.

Record: Database element containing fields of data about one item in the database. For example, in an address database, one record might contain the name, address, and phone number for one particular person.

Recruiter: A person whose job it is to find and hire qualified candidates for job positions.

Redeye:  Airline flight leaving late at night or early in the morning that arrives at its destination before the normal business day begins.

Reduction-in-Force (RIF): When a company downsizes or decreases it workforce.

Registered Trademark: A distinctive word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these that has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Registration can secure benefits beyond the rights one acquires through using a mark.

Regulated Monopoly: A corporation that controls an entire industry with the approval and supervision of the government, such as AT&T before the antitrust suit broke it into smaller unregulated corporations.

Relational Database: Formed by database tables consisting of records, fields, and the corresponding data. A database is relational when the records and fields from two or more database tables can be cross-referenced to generate a third table of data.

Remote Login: A system of login names and passwords that allows a user to connect to a computer network from a distant or remote location.

Remote Mail:  Email that can be accessed away from the office, perhaps at home or while traveling.

Repurpose:   To use again, recycle, or rework for a different purpose.

Research and Development (R&D): Department responsible for developing and creating new products and services to meet consumer needs.

Research Park: A workplace where a Research and Development team can gather to share ideas, conduct tests, and make new products.

Resume: A brief document detailing an individual's qualifications and know-how skills related to employment.

Retail: The sale of products or services directly to customers.

Retailers: Stores, including online stores, that sell goods to customers.

Return on Investment (ROI): Report usually prepared by the Marketing or Finance and Accounting teams that demonstrates the profit potential of a product.

Revenue: The money generated by a particular product or service.

Revenue Stream: The flow of money generated by the company’s products or services.

Reverse Discrimination: A situation that exists when a non-minority person or group is being discriminated against or excluded because of preference given to a minority person or group.

Reverse-Engineer: To study a product or take it apart to figure out how it was made.

Rollout: The steps required to release a new product into the market. A rollout is often called a launch.

Rules of Use: Legal document detailing how something can be used. Often posted on ecommerce sites to describe how the Web site itself can be used.


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Salary Range: The difference between the most and the least an employee may be paid for a particular job.

Salary Schedule: A document or chart that shows the amount a new or beginning employee may be paid for a particular job as well as the amounts employees with higher levels of experience and/or skills may be paid for that job.

Sales Area: Geographic area, such as a state, designated a territory of a sales representative.

Sales Associate: Front-line sales representative who deals directly with customers.

Sales Chain: A series of steps that a customer proceeds through on the way to making a purchase.

Sales Forecasts: A researched set of goals estimating the number of units of a particular product that can be sold. 

Sales Goals: Targets or objectives, usually set by sales representatives and their companies, for how many units of a particular product or what dollar volume a salesperson is responsible for selling during a fiscal year or quarter. 

Sales Region: Geographic area made up of several sales areas. Usually managed by a Regional Sales Manager.

Sample Pages:  Examples of what a printed document will look like after the final printing process. Sample pages are used to check for accuracy and quality in layout, design, composition, text, and placement of graphics.

Sampling Techniques: Statistical methods used to identify trends while examining only a fraction of the entire population.

Scarcity: A shortage of a good of service relative to the demand for it, allowing it to command a higher than normal price.

Scripting:  Specialized programming used to make Web pages interactive, as in the use of JavaScript to enable Web-page forms to interact with corporate databases.

SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission): An independent regulatory agency that administers the federal securities laws, which protect investors in securities markets and ensure them access to all material information on publicly traded securities. The Commission also regulates firms that purchase or sell securities, investment advisors, and investment companies.

Secondary Audience: Receivers of the message other than the primary audience. The secondary audience may have influence on the parameters, decision making, and content of a message.

Secondary Sales: Sales following primary sales. For example, someone might buy a shirt and then decide to buy a matching tie. The tie represents a secondary salean item the customer probably would not have bought unless he or she bought the primary item.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL): Ecommerce security system developed by Netscape Communications Corporation to ensure privacy and security of ecommerce transactions.

Security: The department that protects company products, facilities, employees, and intellectual property from theft, injury, or misuse.

Seminar: An organized training session that focuses on a variety of topics, such as computer software, planning, workgroup skills, human interaction, and relationship skills in the workplace.

Senders: Those who transmit a message to receivers.

Sequence: Order or arrangement.

Sequential:  Movement from an item to an adjacent item; that is, movement in a nonrandom manner.

Server: A computer that meets the needs of other computers on a network, for example, by supplying requested software or processing. Computers that host Intranets or Web sites are often called Web servers.

Servicemark: The same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. See Trademark.

Severance Pay: Payment or benefits packages for employees who leave the corporation voluntarily or are affected by a RIF (reduction in force).

Sexual Harassment: Sexually directed, unsolicited, and unwanted actions or provocative speech creating an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment.

Shareware: Software that may be downloaded for free, tried out for a certain length of time, and then purchased for a small fee.

Shipping: The process of sending a completed product to the sales channel and out to customers.

Shopping Carts: "Digital containers" in which customers can "put" the products they have purchased while shopping at an ecommerce site.

Short Term: Occurring over a relatively short period of time. In business this usually means less than three years.

Showroom:  The area of a convention center dedicated to booths and presentations.

Sidebars:  Information appearing in a rectangular region at the side of a Web page, such as a table of contents or links to other places at the Web site.

Signoff: A signature (or initials) to indicate approval and verification. An agreement to proceed under the defined parameters.

Simplicity: In technical communications, stating a message in a straightforward, uncomplicated way that is easy for the receiver to understand.

Single or Sole Proprietorship: A business owned by one person.

Sleepers: Products, product lines, or business units with unrealized profit potential.

Slicks: Promotional documents usually printed on slick, glossy paper used in direct mail campaigns or distributed directly to customers in retail environments.

Sliding Scale:  The basis on which rates vary according to a set formula or standard. For example, the U.S. federal income tax is based on a sliding scale of income, with different percentages being charged for different income brackets. In business, sliding-scale discounts are used to reward volume purchasers. As clients purchase larger quantities of products or services, the price discount they receive increases (slides up the scale of discount percentages).

Slogans:  Easy-to-remember catch phrases or series of words. Often used in advertising to attract attention.

Social Security: A government plan that provides basic retirement and disability income to workers. Employees and employers contribute to this fund through a tax on employee wages.

Solvent: Refers to a company which is able to pay others what it owes without selling assets to raise the money.

Sort: To reorganize database data by manipulating records to place a particular field in ascending or descending order. See Ascending Order and Descending Order.

Speech-Recognition Software: Computer programs that allow voice input.

Spiffs: Prizes used to enhance the image of a commercial brand. Often distributed by corporations at trade shows. Also called Premiums.

Spin:  To change a previously created document to serve another purpose. A term used to describe how news organizations can interpret information. A term used in marketing and public relations to describe the position a company wishes to take regarding a product, service, solution, or industry problem.

Spiral Branding: A marketing technique whereby a variety of media including television, radio, print advertisements, and Wed sites or ads are used to promote a product, service, or company brand. Ads in one medium build on ads in other media or reference sources of information such as Web sites. Also called Spiral Marketing.

Split Audience: Two or more audiences that have differing levels of background knowledge, needs, or expectations for a message.

Stars: Products, product lines, or business units that are very profitable.

Statistical Analysis: Set of mathematical formulas and techniques applied to a sample of a population to determine the usefulness and reliability of the sample.

Statistical Sample: A sample that is significantly and statistically large enough to represent the entire population.

Sticky: Term describing a Web site that, using a variety of marketing techniques, keeps customers there for long periods of time. The goal of a sticky site is to keep customers focused on the ecommerce Web site's content.

Stipend: A payment—for example, for the successful completion of a project or of a training session.

Stock Market Ticker: A one- to five-letter symbol used to identify a company being traded on a stock exchange.

Stock Options: Allow employees of a company to purchase that company's stock at a fixed price for a fixed period of time. Options may be offered to employees as an incentive and are considered a form of profit sharing.

Stockholders: Individuals who own stock in a corporation.

Stock Options: The right to purchase shares of stock in a company at a fixed price for a period of time.

Strategic Business Unit (SBU): A part of a company that performs a specific function or focuses on a unique aspect of the company's business. TeleView is one of the business units in the Corporate View corporation.

Strategic Markets: Integrated systems that share common market characteristics.

Strategic Plan: A course of action for achieving company goals and objectives.

Stream:   A data-handling process that enables information to flow continuously, allowing Web site audio and video to play without requiring that the entire file be downloaded first. Information that is streamed is stored in a buffer and begins to play while new information is arriving and being buffered. Streaming allows the video and audio to continue playing naturally without breaks or hesitations.

Structured Query Language (SQL): Language used to create and query relational databases. See Relational Database.

Style: In technical communications, the mood, tone, flair, voice, personality, or attitude demonstrated in a message or presentation.

Style Guide: Gives an organization’s preferred standards for formatting documents such as letters, memos, and reports. It may include information on grammar, punctuation, and usage.

Style Sheets: Specifications used in word processing and desktop publishing to define the layout and look of a document. Style sheets specify parameters such as font size, a font appearance, margins, page size, and headings. Styles are often incorporated into templates, which allow the style to be used repeatedly.

Subsidiary: A part of a company that performs a specific function or focuses on a unique aspect of the company's business.

Subtitles: Secondary or explanatory titles that describe a section of a document.

Supplier: A business that provides a product or service to another business.

Support Chain: All elements used by a company to assist customers and to increase customer satisfaction.

Survey: A series of questions given to customers to determine their views about a particular product or idea.

Synergy: Creative power produced by working with others.


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Table View: Spreadsheet-like view of data in a database.

Tags: A device used in HTML; information contained in angle brackets that allows Web browsers to display Web pages.

Talking Points: The specific details of issues that must be covered during a discussion, presentation, or interview.

Technical Audience: Readers who need technical or detailed instructions in order to complete a project, an operation, or a process.

Technical Communications: Messages written or stated in a clear, simple way for someone who needs to know the information.

Telecommunications: The field dealing with the electrical and electronic transmission of messages.

Telecommuting: The practice of working with others from a home office or other remote location via telecommunications lines and Internet/Intranet connections.

Teleconferencing:   A live exchange or meeting among people linked remotely through the support of audio, video, and other data services.

Telephony: Electronically assisted, two-way communications between people and places; for example, a telephone conversation.

Telework: Working using information technology, usually from remote locations. Often synonymous with working over the Internet.

Telnet:  An Internet technology that provides the ability to log in to remote servers or host computers and use those resources as if you were a computer connected directly to that particular server or host computer.

Templates:   Patterns. In printing, styles, designs, or generic documents used in the creation of other documents. See Style Sheets.

Termination: The conclusion, finish, end of something.

Terms of Use: Legal document detailing how something can be used. Often posted on ecommerce sites to describe how the Web site itself can be used.

Test Market: Introduction of a new product or service into a narrow range of possible markets to determine customer acceptance. Test marketing often helps predict future sales once the product is released to broader market distribution.

Text Format: The simplest form a document file can be written in. HTML uses this type of format.

Think-Tank: An organization or workgroup in which employees do interdisciplinary research. At Corporate View, R&D has a think-tank atmosphere—employees continually think of marketable and cost-effective ideas for products.

Thumbnail Sketch: Small rough sketch used to visualize ideas. Often used by graphic artists, marketers, corporate communications specialists, and others to test design ideas. Also called Thumbnail.

Todo List: Tasks or assignments that need to be done in a certain time frame, usually found in a planner.

Tort: A wrong or an injury for which the injured party has a right to sue in court for a remedy.

Trade and Industry Publications: Hard-copy or online magazines, journals, or newsletters hat discuss specific commercial issues. For example, medical journals discuss issues related to medicine. Travel industry newsletters discuss travel-related issues. Computer trade magazines discuss computers.

Trade Name: The name of a business that may have trademarked products.

Trade Show: A large promotional gathering where companies can showcase their products.

Trademark: A distinctive word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these used to differentiate a product for customers.

Traffic: (On the Internet) The number of visitors to a Web site as measured by hits, page views, and other measurements.

Traffic Flow: Movement of customers through a traditional store or a recorded path of the pages a user requested in moving through a Web site. This information can help you understand how visitors are using a store or a Web site and which areas or pages are getting the most use.

Training Consideration: Elements, conditions, or events that may affect how training is organized or delivered.

Training Plan: A document that identifies any know-how skills deficits an employee may have, outlines a plan of training to eliminate the deficits, and includes training considerations such as the method of training preferred by the employee.

Transparency:  Sheet of clear or transparent plastic film containing text and/or graphics.  Transparencies are displayed on a wall or projection screen using an overhead projector.

Trim Size:  Size of a final printed page after the excess has been trimmed.

Turnover: The rate at which the employees of a company change (some employees leave the company and new employees are hired).

Twenty-four/seven: Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Usually expressed as a number: 24/7.

Typesetting:  Process of placing type (rectangular pieces of metal or wood with raised letters or symbols which, when coated with ink and pressed against paper, create an image of the letter or symbol) to create pages for print documents.


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UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.): An independent consulting company that tests products to determine safety and quality.

Unemployment Compensation: A system that provides basic income to workers who have lost their jobs. The provisions and restrictions of this program vary from state to state.

Unified Messaging:  Merging of various communications systems including telephone, email, and FAX.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL): The address of a Web site.

Unique Visitors: Measurement of traffic through a Web site that counts each Web user with a unique address entering a Web site at some page for the first time that day (or for the first time in some other designated time period). Users that return to the Web site within the designated time period are not counted again.

United States Code (USC): A compilation of the laws passed by Congress that are currently in effect.

Usability Report: An objective document that describes the results of a usability study.

Usability Testing: Testing that determines how well a product functions in real-world conditions.

USENET: Short for User Network. A network containing tens of thousands of newsgroups on a wide variety of topics.


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Value Add(ed):  The combining of two or more products or services to increase the overall worth of the purchase. Value is added to products by offering extra features or additional goods and services. Sometimes these value-added extras increase the price of the overall package. Other times they are provided free with a purchase to encourage additional sales.

Value Chain: Complete set of stages through which a product passes, including development, marketing, sales, distribution, and support. Each step of the chain should add value to the product.

Value Positioning: Study of products relative to their competition in the marketplace. Value positioning looks at quality, status, price, availability, customer demographics, and the level of support for a product.

Vendors:  Companies, individuals, or organizations that sell products, services, or solutions.

Vertical Market: A market that focuses on one specific industry sector, such as banking, transportation, technology, or travel. See Market Sector. 

Vertical Market Portal: An Internet portal that focuses on information retrieval for a clearly identifiable vertical market. See Vertical Market, Industry Sector, and Portals.

Vested: A fixed, settled, and established right that cannot be eliminated. For example, to be vested in a pension plan means that future pension benefits cannot be denied to the employee.

Virtual Reality (VR): On a computer, systems that try to imitate or mimic reality.


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Warehousing: Department responsible for managing the storage and shipment of products and production materials.

Web Page: A page of information created in HTML and displayed on the World Wide Web.

Web Placements: Hyperlinked, low-key graphics and small blocks of text appearing on Web pages to advertise a company, product, or service. Placements help establish brand-name recognition without being as annoying or distracting as banner ads.

Web Site: A series of interrelated Web pages on a particular topic.

Webcasting: Broadcasting video and/or sound programs over the World Wide Web.

Webmaster: A job title for the person mainly responsible for the design and maintenance of a Web, Intranet, or other online site.

Webzine: A magazine on the World Wide Web.

Wellness Programs: Preventive programs that promote healthy lifestyles and help employees maintain and improve their health.

White Paper: A document that explains or clarifies a position or suggests change. White papers are usually intended to help others look at something in a new way or think about doing things more efficiently. A white paper is comparatively easy to write—generally short and concise, with a personality that is interesting, informational, and often informal.

White Space:  The blank space around text and pictures in printed and new-media documents.

Wholesale: The sale of products or services in large quantities to distributors, resellers, or retail outlets who in turn, sell in smaller quantities directly to customers.

Wholesalers: Companies or individuals engaged in buying and selling large quantities of merchandise for resale to retail outlets.

Windows Media Player:   Client- and server-supported software created by Microsoft that allows streaming video and audio to be transmitted and displayed effectively over the Internet.

Win-Win: A solution that has a positive outcome for everyone involved.

Wireless Internet Voice Portal: Relating to the Internet and a wireless connection, gateways that assemble or access information by using requests made via the human voice and allowing users to search for and find information easily.

Within the Window:  Phrase used to describe the area visible within a browser window.

Worker's Compensation: An insurance program that provides income protection to workers who are injured on the job or who contract a work-related illness. The provisions and restrictions of this program vary from state to state.

Workflow:  Steps taken to complete a job as it proceeds along its path to completion.

Workforce Trends: General patterns or changes observed within the working population, such as the aging of the population, the impact of global competition on job creation, and the growing mobility of the workforce.

Workgroup: A team of employees who work together and share ideas on a project or issue.

World Wide Web (WWW): A series of computers that use and understand HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). These computers transmit HTML documents to Web users around the world.


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Xerography:  Printing process for copying text and images on paper. Copies of an original are sensitized with static electricity. When coated with a special toner, the charged areas maintain the ink-toner which is fused into the paper, making a permanent copy.


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