You know that feeling where you say a word so often that it stops — for a few seconds — having any meaning? It’s just a sound your lips and tongue make? I’ll bet there’s a word for that but I don’t know what it is.
I’ve been thinking about the word “computer.” I use that word a lot. But it really doesn’t have much meaning (for me) any more. The earliest computers were big old room-size monsters that… computed numbers. Add, subtract, multiply, divide (and probably some other math stuff). So we called the machines computers.
And I guess there are lot of folks still computing on their computers but doesn’t it seem like there could be a better name? We’ve got “desktop” and “laptop” but those are more about where and how we use the machine.
Our phones are computers now but I’m not all that happy with the term “smart phone.” Better than “device” but still not great. Shoot, “digital assistant” was a better term than most of these but that won’t be back. And why didn’t “communicator” catch on? Good enough for the Star Trek crew.
In a few weeks I’ll be talking to Siri via AirPods. And god only knows what we’ll call the glasses we’ll one day be wearing.