Study: 1 in 10 Americans Think HTML Is an STD


A study conducted by coupons website revealed the fact that one in ten Americans think that HTML, or HyperText Markup Language is an STD. The study consisted of 2,392 people, both men and women, who agreed to answer some questions regarding tech-related terms that had three possible definitions. The outcome of the analysis did not only target what Americans think HTML means, but also other tech definitions that proved people do not have IT knowledge, especially since another survey showed that Americans are more interested in tech than in sex.

The study carried out by, which concluded that 11 percent of Americans believe HTML is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) was conducted in order to observe people’s knowledge with regard to technology. The company’s spokeswoman stated that technology is a massive interest for the website’s database, especially since thousands of people visit it on a monthly basis in order to look for deals and coupons “to use when purchasing their favorite tech products.” However, the negative result of the analysis betrayed Americans’ lack of knowledge when it comes to common terms like HTML, SEO, USB and MP3.

“It seems that quite a few of us need to brush up on our tech definitions,” the spokeswoman said.

According to TIME magazine, the study speaks volumes about both computer and sex education that Americans receive, but mistaking HTML for STD was not the only error. Although 61 percent of respondents uttered that being knowledgeable about technology is important nowadays, 77 percent did not know what SEO, or Search Engine Optimization stands for and 42 percent believed that the term “motherboard” means “the deck of a cruise ship,” when actually it represents a circuit board that acts as a glue for computers’ components.

Up to 23 percent of the respondents also believed that MP3, the audio format is a robot from Star Wars and 18 percent thought that Blu-Ray, a DVD format which stores high-definition data is a marine animal. Another 27 percent of the people were certain that a gigabyte, which stands for a unit of computer memory is an insect that originates from South America  and 15 percent believed that software, the term used for computer programs is actually comfortable clothing.

Tech Vs. Sex

Another recent analysis carried out by Harris Interactive showed that most Americans prefer technology to sex, so the study according to which one in ten Americans think that HTML is an STD came as a surprise. Harris Interactive unveiled the fact that 28 percent of the respondents mentioned they cannot live without Internet access, 26 percent considered their cell phones an essential item and 24 percent uttered that they cannot live without their computer.

Although 71 percent agreed that technology has enhanced their overall quality of life, the study carried out by shows that Americans are not familiar with basic technology terms such as HTML, SEO and MP3.

The analysis conducted by Harris Interactive also showed that technology is not the Americans’ top priority: 45 percent of the respondents considered they cannot live without their spouses, 42 percent named their cars as the can’t live without item and only 73 percent thought they cannot live without food.

Nonetheless, the study which shows that one in ten Americans think that HTML is an STD may sound humorous, but believes that brushing up on tech definitions is a good idea, especially since other analyses suggest that technology occupies a leading position in people’s interests.

By Gabriela Motroc

Los Angeles Times
Digital Trends
Voice of America

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