Naming conventions and usage

Naming digital devices such as music players or car-navigation system is always intriguing and it's often curious to see which terms are employed by people. In a world where artifacts do not necessarily rely on existing technical lineages, companies need to create new terms. Eventually, theses names are not the one that make it to the surface. Two examples that I like:

John, saved by THE GPS

The story of a kid who has been "saved by The GPS" (or in French "Le GPS"). GPS which refers to car-navigation assistants that generally use this positioning technology to locate the vehicle. In this case, the name of device emerged from the enabling technique itself.

Another great examples that is commonly used in the swiss press is "Le MP3", i.e. the music player that allows to play audio files. In this case, the name of the device emerged from the file format itself... even if the artifact play different file format (such as .AAA).

Why do I blog this? Just though about this while reading one of my student's dissertation draft. Naming conventions are always interesting and it's curious to follow what terms are picked up by people. This echoes with other trends from the past for which we had obvious examples such as "Frigidaire" (a brand name used as a generic term).