Saturday, December 4, 2010

Names and History

A nice point by Paul Graham about what we call touchscreen devices like iPhones, which I saw on boingboing (I thought, but can't find it, maybe not) and Daring Fireball:

The only reason we even consider calling them “mobile devices” is that the iPhone preceded the iPad. If the iPad had come first, we wouldn’t think of the iPhone as a phone; we’d think of it as a tablet small enough to hold up to your ear.
This is standard human behavior, we've done it before. We present new things in terms of the more-familiar then-current things. Horses led to horseless carriages, from which we dropped the "horseless" and "-riage" part of carriage to get just car (I believe), which we still drive. There was also the iron horse (the locomotive), and the wireless telegraph (early radio before voice was used).