Posted by: Jack Henry | March 2, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Ping

Okay folks, get ready. It’s gripe time again. This is not a personal gripe of mine because I have never used the word “ping” to mean “contact me.” It is, however, a huge issue with one of my favorite guys, so I told him I’d write something up about this.

According to Merriam-Webster, the following uses of the word ping are acceptable:


noun: ping; plural noun: pings

a short high-pitched ringing sound, as of a tap on a crystal glass.

"the syncopated ping of steel drums"

a percussive knocking sound, especially in an internal combustion engine.

"if any sign of engine ping occurs"


verb: ping; 3rd person present: pings; past tense: pinged; past participle: pinged; gerund or present participle: pinging

make or cause to make a ping.

"the doorbell pinged"


query (another computer on a network) to determine whether there is a connection to it.

The use of ping that is unacceptable is a verb to indicate “contact.” So, if you were to say, “Hey, Mr. Smithers, ping me when you get the file,” my buddy would challenge you to a round of fisticuffs. The great thing is that any of the following sentences work, and they make just as much sense:

  • Bob, please call me when you receive the flowers.
  • Jo-jo, I would love it if you’d send me a text when you get home.
  • I think I will send my mom an email to tell her I love her.
  • If you contact Zeke before he gets on the boat, he’ll really appreciate it.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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