Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A new name for ebooks is waiting in the wings, but what will it be?

In our opinion an ebook is not a book, and maybe we need a new word for such ''device readers''. My guess is when the culture is ready, a new term will come bouncing down the information highway, organically and naturally, coined perhaps inadvertently by some geek in Manhattan or a PR operative on the sly.

Come to think of it, why do we even call a book, a book. That word: book. What are the origins of the word book?

This is interesting: The word book comes from Old English bōc which itself comes from the Germanic root bōk- a cognate to beech. Similarly, in Slavic languages (e.g. Russian, Bulgarian and Macedonian) буква (bukva—letter) is cognate to beech. It is thus conjectured that the earliest Indo-European writings may have been carved on beech woodSimilarly, the Latin word codex, meaning a book in the modern sense (bound and with separate leaves), originally meant block of wood.

So seriously, folks, we cannot call ebooks ''eblocks'' of ''ewood''. We do need a new word. If we build it, it will come. Well, we already built these device readers, dozens of them, but a new name is still waiting to be blessed and accepted. Any ideas out there for a better word than ebook? Maybe by 2025 it will happen.

No comments: