Word Watch: device: an ‘absurdly vague’ term • Vote for an alternative!

Credit: Rawpixel

Credit: Rawpixel

Not strictly medical, but relevant:

Ottawa journalist Dan Gardner issued a challenge on Twitter the other day, urging his followers to help him come up with an alternative term to “device” to designate … devices … like smart phones and tablets.

“We need a label for iPads and the rest that isn’t the absurdly vague ‘device,’ Gardner wrote. “I like ‘combadge’ because geek. But open to suggestions.”

Combadge, of course, refers to the communications badge (com + badge – get it?) worn by Starfleet personnel in Star Trek franchises.

Combadge • Credit: Kjp993/Wikipedia

Credit: Kjp993/Wikipedia

Thereafter followed a lively, if not conclusive, Twitter exchange.

Gardner admitted early on that as to “combadge,” “I am, perhaps, not entirely serious about it.”

suggested “mobile device,” “totable computer,” resurrecting “personal digital assistant” or choosing a “clunky techno term” from Techopedia.

Not directly addressing the need for a noun, @ suggested the verb for using these … devices: “smurfing” (as in, surfing while mobile).

I didn’t contribute anything to the discussion, but why don’t we continue it here? Vote below, or suggest a term.~TM

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