Yesterday, +Scott Hanselman
posted a link of Newt Gingrinch talking about a better name for a Smart Phone. The replies were mostly partisan. Newt, at his core, is a historian. Unlike most people, historians can take themselves out the the stream of their own personal experiences and ask questions like these. Most people, including myself, take for granted all that come before us and rely on that experience to inform our personal biases. Truth be told, "smart phone" is an incredibly lazy term for what has become an incredible piece of equipment. We prefix the term smart to just about anything: smart grid, smart car, smart appliance, smart items/things (Internet of Things), smart thermostat, smart boards, smart terminal, smart TV, smart cover (iPad), smart cards, smart watches, etc. We name things and sometimes the name sticks - when was the last carriage on a typewriter and yet we still use the term carriage return? And clearly cell phone or cellular phone is no longer applicable to this device as more and more of the communication/data occurs over Internet for land lines and WiFi for mobile users. Interestingly, we STILL say the phone rings or we ring someone when bells connected to the ring wire have all but vanished.
After reading many of the comments on Scott's post, it certainly does make one wonder about the origin of the term smart ass. It also makes me wonder how unaware WE technology people are about history - even our own.