WEB ANNOYANCE ALERT….I didn’t know this, but Matt informs me that if you doubleclick on a word in a New York Times story, a contextual dictionary pops up to define the word. Handy! But apparently Gen Y doesn’t like it. Kriston is pissed:

When I’m reading something on the screen, I click, double-click, drag, and highlight words. Any and all words, whole blocs of text, I don’t care….If I want to just nervously click on words, that’s what I do.

….Now, the double-clicking that happens accidentally and incidentally when I read the NYT online produces an endless, intolerable string of pop-up windows, each presenting dumb definitions for words I already know — words like “to” and “seven” and “November”. It’s enough to make a body read washingtonpost.com.

Kriston’s commenters all seem to have the same reaction. But I say: think of the good this might do for the country. For example, say you’re a congress critter reading about a cache of bomb components uncovered in Iraq and you come across a statement that the stuff was bound for “armed Shiite groups here.” You shake your head: what the hell’s a Shiite? Just doubleclick!

smaller of two branches of Islam; defining belief is that succession of Islamic leaders should descend from Ali, son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad (Isl.)

And if you really want to go to town, there are two more definitions plus a 500-word mini-encyclopedia entry. It won’t help you pass ABC’s “Sunni or Shiite?” quiz, but it’s a start!

Besides, for real annoyance try reading Outside the Beltway these days. You don’t even have to doubleclick: an annoying gigantic box (Powered by Snap!) pops up every time you run your mouse over a link. Ugh.

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