Re: [rp-ml] A public survey on terminology

From: Steve Baker (
Date: Wed Aug 10 2005 - 04:17:54 EEST

Adrian Bowyer wrote:

> After all, what do "iPod", "Walmart", or (most obscurely) "MP3" mean?

iPod comes about because Apple had already established the 'i' prefix for
the 'iMac'. The 'i' in that case stood for 'Internet' - because the iMac
came ready to plug into the net. Note that they also have iBook, iDVD, iChat
and a bunch of other 'i' things.

Walmart comes from the founder of the company (Sam WALton) - and the conventional
'mart' suffix meaning a big shop (eg K-mart). Sam's Club comes from the same guy.
He really liked having his own name on the storefront!

MP3 is the third protocol layer of the MPEG-1 audio standard. MPEG
is the 'Moving Picture Experts Group'.

What this tells us is that names come from other names - which come from
other names.

> "RP" is better than "3-D Printing" as it's two syllables rather than four.

Yeah - but the two words it stands for are both irrelevent to any kind of
consumer-grade device which will likely not be 'rapid' and never be used
for making 'prototypes'.

> But then your suggestion of "Fab" (not "Fabber") has a nice '60s retro sound, is
> only one syllable, and works as both a verb and a noun.

Thunderbirds are *GO* !

(Feel free not to understand that comment if you're not a Brit who was a kid in
the 60's.)

> A fab; a room-full of fabs; I'm just going to fab that; That's fresh out of the
> fab; He's got a home-made fab...

Of course we already have the overloaded meaning of "a factory making silicon
chips" - which is known as a 'Fab Plant' or perhaps a 'Fab Line'.

---------------------------- Steve Baker -------------------------
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