The meaning of Ping means”to get in touch.”

The phrase “to get in contact” may be summed up with the term “ping” in this day and age of mobile messaging and internet communication. Ping, on the other hand, had a totally different connotation several decades ago, far before the invention of email, Facebook, cellphones, and even the internet itself.

The Origins of the Word “Ping”

The use of sonar is where the term “ping” got its start. Sonar consists of emitting sound waves into the surroundings in order to essentially “see” what is there. Because the sound waves reflect off of other things and the sea bottom, boats are able to determine the depth of the water as well as the distance between individual objects for the sake of navigation.

Sonar was the primary method that ships used during World War II to identify and locate enemy submarines. Because of this, the term “ping” is now often used to refer to both the sound produced by electrical devices as well as the signals that produce them.

The Evolution of the Word “Ping”

The term “ping” went through a series of semantic shifts in its formative years as a computer and internet protocol. According to Merriam-Webster, in 1983, a computer scientist named Michael Muuss took inspiration from echo-location to write the contemporary “ping” code in an effort to diagnose a problem with a computer network.

The computer code that he built allowed a host computer to send a signal that resembled an echo (called a “echo request”) to a distant computer in order to determine whether or not the latter was currently online. The answer it gives might then be used to assess its state (an “echo reply”).

“Ping” in the Web 2.0 Era

New meanings for the term “ping” emerged as the Internet evolved from Web 1.0’s static state to Web 2.0’s dynamic and interactive one, notably in the context of weblogs and social networks.

What we call a “ping” in the world of weblogs is really an XML-RPC signal that one server sends to another to let it know when another server’s content has been changed. To speed up the indexing process, bloggers may now take use of a wide variety of blog ping providers, which send out automated pings to search engines on their behalf.

Ping is a term used in the realm of social networking to indicate the posting or sharing of an external link. The number of shares, or “pings,” a page has received may be shown by a social sharing plugin if one is installed on the site in question.

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