For the odd moments I can manage to think of something.

And not mobile?

What am I going to call you? Bob?

I have a problem at the moment – with the word mobile. So I wanted to ask you – whoever you are and whatever you do – what you would do to relabel that object?

Let me give you a short explainer. I have an HTC Hero. A smart phone. Once excitedly unboxed and charged up, I spent many hours adding apps from the market, rearranging the interface to suit my tastes and generally getting used to the touch screen and trying to find things like contacts and photo albums easily. It was utterly absorbing and quite fun. Then the object rang loud in my hands. I nearly dropped it and had heart failure. I had totally forgotten that what I had in my clammy fists was also a mobile phone. I had explored the wireless comms side of things via Twitter and text but an actual ringing telephony device had slipped from my ideas about it.

A similar thing happened when a friend and mobile expert was exploring my new gadget. It rang and he nearly crapped himself. (No mild amusement for me there.)

I see that brands are changing the way they name their objects, not so much smart phone or mobile phone or cell phone, but single word naming nouns – like naming a car brand – Droid, Hero, Pre etc.

It was through watching someone else deftly scroll through his iphone a while back and then to hear his other phone ring in his pocket, that the penny dropped that these things are not best used as telephony devices and in fact many people were engaging their iphones as 3g wireless computers of great portability. Makes me wonder why the iphone is still called an i-phone if people don’t make calls on them.

So, if brands and makers are adjusting their labels, what do we call a portable computing device that also can make calls and be used for mobile communication, and as an organiser and a games machine and a video player, and a music streamer and….

The word Mobile or Cell seems very closely linked to the word “phone” in my mind. Maybe I should watch more sci fi to find a name for these things. For the moment though, I am trying to sketch out a scenario with a multi use mobile object and you know, I’m still not sure what to call it. What would you call it? Hopefully something short and catchy…


2 Responses to “And not mobile?”

  1. sizemore

    You heard that Global Frequency was back on as a TV project, right?

    Be interesting to see how they deal with taking the phones from book to screen as my iPhone and your Hero now do a lot more than the GF handsets.

    But your post made me think of Aleph:

    “a point in space that contains all other points. Anyone who gazes into it can see everything in the universe from every angle simultaneously, without distortion, overlapping or confusion”

    Funnily enough we have a type of Aleph in SLINGERS too – although my version isn’t a cute girl.

    Doesn’t work for the name of a device and all the obvious replacements are taken… maybe we just need to redefine ‘phone’ instead?

    • jemimahknight

      @Sizemore – I did indeed hear about the new GF project. These things make me bite my lip with nerves though, especially when i really enjoyed the books! You’re right about the mobile line in there – essential to the plot and yet updated for beyond today. Tricky.

      Aleph is a good name for a mobile device, let alone network hub. Maybe hub is the word I was looking for? Doesn’t sound very sexy though.

      Sci fi is definitely the input for me on this one – oddly enough Ziggy of Quantum Leap was mentioned this evening and added to my ideas. Someone else mentioned that Spock used a communicator – that has sort of the right ring to it. I don’t think a proper noun is the right route in Ziggy’s case though.

      Phone – you’re right. I think I’ll start looking at that more closely as a term. Might show up something I had missed. It’s funny how rigid the associations seem at the moment though.

      Good job I have a real writer about to answer these questions for me and add more ideas! Thank you!


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