How Language Fuels Innovation
It's a really good point:
Is “Orange Is the New Black” or “House of Cards” a TV show? We can watch them on our smartphone, tablet, computer or TV. And, unlike traditional TV shows, which are released an episode per week, we can watch the whole season at once, totally disrupting the sense of time the television channels have taught us to expect. And yet, as Kevin Spacey recently pointed out at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, we still talk about that form of media in terms of its traditional viewing source. It’s still a TV show, even if it’s more like an episodically-punctuated-video-feed.
Many of our words are archaic, not just “TV show.” How many of us still say, “Will you tape that show for me?” when no tape is involved. We talk about albums, records, and filming. We “dial” and “hang up” the phone. At the tollbooth, we “roll down the window” even though we’re not rolling anything. We refer to a child as a “carbon copy” of her dad. Even our icons are out of date. You click a magnifying glass to search. (Perhaps Sherlock Holmes, somewhere, approves.) You click a floppy disc to save. (Do your kids even know what that is?) Your mail icon is an envelope. (Too bad for the post office that you don’t need a stamp.)
The words and images we use to describe things affect our thinking. What if the words we use are limiting the solutions we can create?