Let’s face it: our reliance on technology is akin to our body needing air and water to function effectively. We use it for work, we use it for play – and we even use it when we sleep. There’s just no escaping it, unless you choose to disconnect altogether (which can be good for your well-being).
Like it or not, some of the brands we love and use on a daily basis have taken root in our daily vocabulary, a figure of speech known as proprietary eponyms – in other words, these terms are now everyday verbs in our conversations.
Interestingly enough, as new brands enter and change the market, the jargon we use in daily life continues to evolve along with it. Here’s a look at some of the ‘newer’ brand names that have snuck their way into our day-to-day lingo. (Watch out, Merriam-Webster, sounds like you’ll need to make room for new dictionary entries pretty soon!)
“Yikes! I’m going to be late! Can we Uber to the client’s office instead?”
Originally: A German preposition/prefix meaning ‘over/above’.
Now: The word that taxi drivers loath the most.
Similar variations (and much more ingenious ones, in our opinion):
“Hey, I gotta go - Whatsapp me later and tell me the results of the match!”
Can be shortened to: ‘WA’, ‘Apps (yes, people actually say that)
Food for thought: When did ‘message’ start being used as a verb, as opposed to 'send' a message?
“You mean you didn’t Instagram the epic dinner you had at that celebrity chef’s restaurant yesterday?”
Can be shortened to: ‘Insta’, ‘IG’
Fun fact: While the English-speaking Insta-verse applies hashtags like #follow4follow, #igers, #ThrowbackThursday and even… #lmnop (#truestory), the Korean Insta-verse uses a range of popular hashtags that play on the photo sharing app’s name (the suffix ‘-스타그램’ translates into ‘-stagram’).
4. Tweet (verb - root brand: Twitter)
“This conversation is HILARIOUS – I *so* need to tweet about it!”
Originally: An onomatopoeia to express the sound a bird makes.
Now: Summarizing your daily life and thoughts in 140 characters – multiple times in an hour.
“John, can you Slack me the latest version of the proposal?”
Originally: A adjective/verb to denote laziness or being lackadaisical.
Now: The reason that the office has become a lot quieter.
Also: …a rather awkward way of telling your colleagues to send you files/messages online.
“I’m going to Taobao everything in my new house. And I mean EVERYTHING.”
Origin/meaning of name: China – translated into English as ‘searching for treasure’.
“Eh! Don’t forget to MTXX the picture before you post it! I don’t want people to see my pimples!”
Origin/meaning of name: China – translated into English as ‘pretty picture’
(Note: If anyone asks you to go over to their place for some ‘Netflix and chill’, you… might just want to think twice about that.)
How many of these tech terminologies have snuck into your consciousness, and which other ones do you use in daily speak? Tell us in the comments below!