Evolving Language


At the RCAC meeting on Friday, we did a sharing about how we’re embracing many of the components of the Read/Write Web. While I don’t like the phrase Web 2.0, I use the other and it’s a tongue twister to me. I end up more often than not doing an electronic version of Wascally Wabbit. Spent too much time in front of the television as a kid, I guess. But, I’ve adopted the one and not the other.

As we were going around, I was mindful of the new technology that was just flowing off our lips. Second Life, Wiki, Twitter, Del.icio.us to name a few.

it was a very enjoyable sharing session and we certainly took to heart many of the messages that came from Symposium 2007 and have made them part of our daily routine and our daily language. They are new terms and worthy of evolving into use into the language.

There’s one that shouldn’t though.

“Powerpoint”. As in “Let me see your Powerpoint”.

The Microsoft Office Suite contains a number of software applications. Notably Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Powerpoint. The newest versions of the product running under Microsoft Windows are known as Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, and Microsoft Office Powerpoint 2007. They create Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and Microsoft Powerpoint presentations.

In language use, the third program doesn’t create a “Powerpoint” anymore than the first one creates a “Word” or the second one creates an “Excel”.

In conversations, there are those that use it that way. On numerous occasions, I’ve had people let me know that they’ve used StarOffice to create a “Powerpoint”. Grrrr.

The one that gets me is “How can I create a Powerpoint like ### does?” The answer is “Get a Macintosh computer, get a copy of iWork and develop a presentation in Keynote”. Even then, you don’t “Create a Powerpoint”. You create a presentation and you may wish to export it in Microsoft Powerpoint format.

Some words are ready for evolution status and some just aren’t.

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