baked byOli Studholme
The name of things
Linguistic relativity is the idea that language influences the way people think — the names we use can have a powerful effect on how we perceive things.
Horace Dediu points out that the names we use for the supercomputers we have with us are from a different time.
I wonder what my kids will be calling these devices in ten years. For me “computer” already seems a term from an earlier time: the time before everything was a computer.
The labels we use in web design can also subtly affect our perception. For example, talking about web pages can lead us to perceive and design them as static comps with fixed dimensions, no different from print design.
What other names come to us with the mental baggage of past association? By considering their connotations, we can at least be more aware of their influence on us, and avoid the narrow, predetermined path of the obvious.