'Epithetized' phenomena: "e-", "m-", "u-"
A follow-up on the internet idioms and letter I dealt with the other day. As Steve Woolgar wrote back in 2002 (in Virtual Society?: Technology, Cyberbole, Reality), the "e-" prefix is part of an 'epithetized' phenomena. That is to say, the addition of this letter to almost any activity or institution to signify novelty (beyond electronics):
"While it is often unclear from these labels exactly how the application of the epithet actually modifies the activity/institution in question, a claim to novelty is usually central, especially at the hands of those promoting the new entity (...) The implication is that something new, different and (usually) better is happening"
Why do I blog this? gathering quotes while reading books about the STS... the use of these letters to embed something new is decidedly fascinating. Besides, the "m-" (standing for "mobile") and "u-" (ubiquitous) are of course the followers...