My Fair Lady and encryption
There's a set of questions that I get asked fairly frequently. Most of these involve encryption, tokenization, and elliptic curves and I can pretty much answer these questions without actually having to think about them at this point. They almost never involve the movie My Fair Lady, but I was reminded of it recently when I saw what a journalist that I had talked to about encryption ended up writing.
In particular, he ended up using "hashing" several times when he should have used "encryption." I suppose that he didn't really understand either hashing or encryption very well, so the terms were roughly interchangeble to him as being some sort of algorithm that's used in cryptography. That's probably a mistake that many people who don't work in the field of information security could make. In any event, this reminded me of how I misheard to lyrics to the song in My Fair Lady where Eliza Doolittle sings about how loverly it would be if she had
Lots of choc'lates for me to eat,
Lots of coal makin' lots of 'eat.
What I heard for the second line was "lots of cows makin' lots of meat."
I was probably 10 or 11 years old at the time, and the alternate lyrics seemed to make perfect sense to me then. So I if I can make that sort of mistake, I probably shouldn't get too upset when journalists confuse things like hashing and encryption.
(There's an entire web site dedicated to misheard song lyrics – kissthisguy.com. It's actually one of the funniest site on the entire Internet. But they don't seem to have this particular one in their database.)