Word of the Day: protocol
Protocol (noun) PROH-tuh-kawl
1 : an original draft or record of a document or transaction
2 : a preliminary memorandum of diplomatic negotiation
4 : a set of conventions for formatting data in an electronic communications system
5 : a detailed plan of a scientific or medical experiment, treatment, or procedure
“A protocol that arose from Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, research has led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of a biological drug for the treatment of a certain form of lung cancer.” — USA Today, 1 Oct. 2016
“Throughout Obama’s first term, critics described him as naïve, particularly in the area of foreign relations—so ignorant of practical realities that he didn’t even understand the symbolic protocols of a state visit. In 2009, when he bowed to Emperor Akihito, on a trip to Tokyo, he was referred to on the far right as ‘treasonous.'” — Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 3 Oct. 2016
Did You Know?
In Late Greek, the word prōtokollon referred to the first sheet of a papyrus roll bearing the date of its manufacture. In some instances, it consisted of a flyleaf that was glued to the outside of a manuscript’s case and provided a description of its contents. Coming from the Greek prefix prōto– (“first”) and the noun kolla (“glue”), prōtokollongave us our word protocol. In its earliest uses in the 15th century, the word referred to a prologue or preface and also to a record of a document or transaction. In the late 19th century, it began to be used in reference to the etiquette observed by the Head of State of France in ceremonies and relations with other dignitaries. This sense has since extended in meaning to cover any code of proper conduct.
As a software engineer, programmer and network technician, I live and breathe protocols. In fact, I see the entire world as an intricate pattern of protocols. Every interaction between two things, objects, animals, and people involves protocols.
Think about it. In western culture, shaking hands is protocol when solidifying a deal. In Europe kissing each other on the cheek is a protocol as a greeting or salutation. In the U.S. kissing on the cheek is less common outside the immediate family. In Japan, people bow to each other in a sign of respect when greeting each other.
In the wild, if you watch the social interactions of a lion pride, you’ll note that there is a pecking order or protocol. A stag will fight another stag to protect his territory from others and to maintain the social order of his does.
In the health industry, there are protocols on everything, right down from triaging an injury to documentation on a case. The NFL recently instituted ‘Concussion Protocols’ to mitigate serious injury in players. Society has protocols on everything, from public nudity to waste recycling to which side of the road one must drive.
Have you ever dated a person who while during a date will interrupt your conversation to take a call, text or otherwise disrupt the evening? I’ve even heard of people answering their phones & text messages while in the midst of having sex. What kind of shit is that? Leave the phone down and enjoy your partner. The caller/texter can wait.
Then of course, are all the protocols involved with just using a cell phone. Thousands of protocols are used to connect you to your friend or relative, regardless of whether they are in the next room or across the globe. I won’t go into all of them but please believe me, there are a lot.
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I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.
Have a great day.