Is anyone else tired of the “cyber” prefix? I think I stopped using it in 1994. No, wait — I never used it.

I think if you were to graph the respect for the term on the y-axis and age on the x-axis, you’d find that people older than 25 or 30 think it’s the most appropriate word, and people younger than 25 or 30 realize that it’s cheesy and ambiguous.

Look at this URL: When you click on it, it redirects you to a page on the White House’s site: “The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.”

Can we all just agree to replace the word “cyberspace” with the word “Internet?” Please? I could see an argument that the Internet is public and “cyberspace” could encompass corporate intranets …. but most intranets are accessible through the Internet, so I think due to the definition of the word Internet, via connection to it they inherently become part of it.

So let’s retire the word “cyberspace.” And any word that contains “cyber.” It’s okay if we do this. People no longer say “motorcarriage” or “iron horse” or “dirigible” — oftentimes the first attempt to name something … isn’t the best attempt.

While we’re talking about cyberspace, why don’t we examine words used to describe parts of the Internet and their persistence in the vernacular. On second though, make that “vernacular of informed people from the ages of 13 to 38.”

I was a little torn over which term to explore first, but I had to go with email. It’s what people use the Internet for more than anything else. It’s how individuals connect with other individuals. This expands the scope of my discussion slightly, but I find it worth pointing out that the inconsistency with the term “email” is how to spell it. e-mail? E-Mail? Email? email? courriel? There’s also the term for an individual email message. I often start emails with something like, “I’m writing you this message because …” So the possibilities are: message, email, letter … maybe those are the only possibilities.

I was going to write more … maybe I’ll pick this up later.


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