A friend of mine who works in the automotive industry was telling me today about poka-yoke. (Or "pokayoke".) Pronounced to rhyme with "okey dokey", and meaning "mistake proofing" it is a Japanese word for a design concept; making components so that the only way they will plug together or be used is the correct way, so as to reduce errors in assembly. Ports on your computer would be a good example - most are asymmetric or have missing pins so that you can't successfully plug a peripheral cable in upside down.
The idea of designing a process so that mistakes are (preferably) impossible or at least easy to detect and understand is of course more widely applicable than just to the field of plugging things in. John Grout's mistake-proofing center has a page of examples of various kinds of physical objects that are designed in a mistake-proofing kind of way. Clearly poka-yoke is a concept that has a lot in common with usability, and this article "Using Poka-Yoke Techniques for Early Defect Detection" ( by Harry Robinson , a Paper presented at the Sixth International Conference on Software Testing Analysis and Review (STAR'97)) discusses applying the concept to software design - for example, the keyboard shortcuts for program menus.
It's not to be confused with pokeoke: which is possibly an alternative spelling but is also a gathering where the entertainment consists of poker and karaoke :-)
It's also, of course a fun word to say - even better than saying "flong".
NB- this article was first posted 18 Feb 07, then was edited on 20 Feb (when I was tipped off that poka-yoke was a more common spelling than my original guess of pokey-okey, and so discovered some more web resources).