[Air-L] Metaphors in Technology

Kevin Guidry krguidry at gmail.com
Tue Jul 1 11:38:22 PDT 2008

On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 7:51 AM, Steve Cavrak <Steve.Cavrak at uvm.edu> wrote:
> On Jun 30, 2008, at 5:22 PM, Gordon Joly wrote:
>> At 15:37 -0400 28/6/08, Kevin Guidry wrote:
>>> On Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 3:23 PM, Gordon Carlson <gordycarlson at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> broadband
>>>  Not a metaphor.  Typically misused these days but still a technical
>>> term with a specific, defined meaning.
> Isn't that how metaphors are formed?

   Perhaps.  I'm not an expert in language or how languages evolve so
I'm not in a good position to answer your question.  However, it seems
to me that most metaphors are used with the explicit understanding
that they are indeed metaphors and that understanding seems to supply
some of their power and usefulness.  Words or phrases that are misused
to the point where the "misuse" redefines the word or phrase seem very
different from metaphors.

   And to the person who asked for a definition of broadband: I got
rid of my Cisco books a few years ago but I seem to recall that
broadband was initially a technical term referring to media capable of
transmitting multiple signals at the same time typically using some
form of multiplexing.  I understand how the term has come to mean
"high speed Internet" but the shift from a technically-specific word
to a very poorly-defined one greatly saddens my inner computer geek.


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