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  LOGOLOG
a weblog of wordplay by Eric Harshbarger

Web Too Dah Toe

It would be accurate to say that many years ago I was entrenched in the hoopla that surrounded the growth of the Web. I left the Silicon Valley 'scene' in 1999, before the (first?) 'bubble burst'. These days we hear a lot about Web2.0, and I can't help but smirk at seeing many of the same trends, silly ideas, and marketing clap-trap that seem to have been resurrected.

I thought I'd start a list of linguistic trendiness that is associated with the Web-hype. To be honest, my memory is a bit rusty on all the hubbub from the first time around, and I do my best to avoid much of the new flashiness of Web2.0, so if readers can offer any contributions, I would greatly appreciate it.

What, exactly, am I looking for? Here are my examples:

e-

The web was brand new to most people in the mid- to late-90s. The concept of 'e-mail' was quite strange... but fascinating. Soon, those-who-hype realized attention could be had by prefixing words with an "e-". We still see many such names and terms which managed to survive the first bubble burst.
  • eLoan
  • eBay (though, I recent read this 'e-' came more from a shortening of 'Echo Bay' rather than a desire to prefix the magical letter... still, I'm sure it was looked upon favorably)
  • e-gov
  • "eBook"
  • "e-commerce"
  • e-Trade

i-

Granted, 'iFilm' has been around been around for quite a while now, but it was really Apple who convinced all of its cultists that anything with an 'i' in front was worth shelling out a lot of money for (iDolatry, anyone?). Plenty of others have played along.
  • iPod
  • iTunes
  • iMac
  • iPhone
  • iTalk
  • iBook
  • iVillage

j-

This prefix-du-jour was a direct result of my employer of the type: Sun Microsystems. Their Java programming language was bright and shiny and new, and, boy oh boy, if you made 'j' the first letter of your brand name, it HAD TO BE COOL:
  • jGuru
  • jDeveloper
  • 'jar' (an altered form of 'tar', a type of unix archive format)
  • Jiro
  • Jini
  • jTalk

-r

Oh... forgive me, Web2.0 is much different that the first hype-fest. See, now, marketers are using suffixes too. "-r" seems to be the current ending to try to attract venture capital at the moment... just be sure not to user "-er"... that would just look silly. The '-r' is almost as original as changing a final '-s' to '-z' to attracted the kiddies (Bratz, Webkinz, etc). To find many of the examples below I literally just thought of a noun ('painter', 'mapper', etc... left out the 'e' and did a Google search... presto... someone is using that catchy name for something).
  • Flickr
  • Famousr
  • Browsr
  • Bloggr
  • Paintr
  • Mappr
I'll leave it to the reader to search Google or Wikipedia for the details of the above terms and products. I'm sure it'll be worth your time.

Anyone have additional examples (either of the letters used above or any other candidates of alphabetic-exploitation)?

e-comments welcome.

-- Eric (iHave written eNuff)

[11 April 2007]
   
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Comments about this article:
For -r, don't forget Tumblr. Or is that to flashy Web 2.0?

Posted by: Michael. Beyond that I refuse to tell you because Internet safety.


 
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