London - Do you know your MP3 from your C-3PO, or your Blu-ray from your stingray?

A study has discovered one in 10 Americans think HTML – the name given to the code that makes up websites – is a sexually transmitted disease, while almost a third think a gigabyte is an insect. The research was carried out to determine how knowledgeable people are when it comes to tech terms, and how important they think tech is.

The study by discount and coupon site Vouchercloud asked 2 392 men and women aged over 18 to identify the meanings of a variety of words. These words were a mix of technical and non-technical terms, and each term was given with three multiple choice answers.

Participants were also asked how important knowing about technology is.

The term which stumped most (77 percent) was SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the art of writing web content to make it appear higher up in search results.

Almost half of the participants believed a motherboard used in computers was the deck of a cruise ship. Other terms that confused participants included software, which was mistaken for comfortable clothing, and USB, which was mistaken from the acronym of a European country. Almost 50 of the participants thought that a tablet computer was a device used to monitor medication.

Despite these gaps in knowledge, 61 percent said it was “important” to have a good knowledge of technology.

“It seems that quite a few of us need to brush up on our tech definitions!” said Jessica Glaus, of the site,

“It’s understandable that a lot of people won’t know what SEO is, but it will be interesting to see how many more of these terms become more mainstream as tech continues to play a huge role in our lives.” – Daily Mail



SEO stands for Search-Engine Optimisation and is the art of writing web content to make it appear higher up in search results.

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is the code used to build websites.

Gigabyte is a measurement unit for the storage capacity of electronic devices, including phones, hard drives and more.

Motherboard is a circuit board used to hold and power the main components of a computer.

MP3 is a digital audio file format.

Blu-ray is a disc format used to store high-definition videos seen as a successor to the DVD.

Software is a term for computer programs.

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus and is a type of connector.