You may recognize the title of this post as borrowing from a Shakespeare quote from Romeo & Juliet: What’s in a name? that which we call a rose\
By any other name would smell as sweet; (I didn’t know that automatically – thank you, Google!) Translated to modern American speech, trash is still smelly garbage. This reader gets the idea that the writer is trying to hide something or make something bad seem good merely by using a different word. So, where did this topic come up?
I received an email reminder about a class I am taking next week about using a Smart Board, an interactive white-board tool for classrooms, meetings, etc. that requires an LCD projector and the Smart Board itself. Anyway, the message included the warning to bring drinks only if they have resealable caps because “we will be using technology.” <sarcasm> Really? \sarcasm> Of COURSE we are – that’s what I signed up to do!!
Secondly, “we will be using technology” is a phrase I find amusing and pretty stupid-sounding, to be frank. How about just saying: ”We’ll be using keyboards that would be damaged by spilled liquids” Technology is one of the most overused words around, in my opinion. “Technology” can be defined as “the practical application of science to commerce or industry” or “the methods and tools that a society has developed in order to facilitate the solution of its practical problems.”
So, telephones (even the dial-up kind), DVD players, ball point pens, a hammer instead of a rock… don’t these all meet the definition? It’s as if using the word “technology” makes the writer more believable as some sort of expert on gadgetry. Is the writer or speaker out to impress the audience? Well, it doesn’t work with me and in fact does just the opposite. Call the rose a rose, and keyboard a keyboard.
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