By Tom Chatfield

Composed of a hundred bite-sized entries of four hundred to six hundred phrases every one, Netymology weaves jointly tales, etymologies and analyses round electronic culture's transformation and vocabulary. Chatfield provides a kaleidoscopic, thought-provoking journey in the course of the buried roots of the symbols, speech, and mannerisms now we have inherited from the electronic age: from the @ and Apple symbols, to HTML and Trojan horses, to the twisted histories of recent sorts of slang, memes, textual content messages and gaming phrases; how language itself is being formed by way of expertise, the way it is altering us.

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Printing with movable type first appeared in Europe in the fifteenth century and was a laborious process that usually involved handwritten manuscripts being “marked up” with instructions to the printer as to how they should be presented on the page: which words should be in bold, in italics, set as headings, underlined, or set out separately from the main text. Several of these printer’s terms survive to this day online: from the abbreviation “em” signaling “emphasis” (type in italics) to the use of the tag “strong” to signal bold type.

A picture stone discovered in a burial site in Havor, Gotland, prominently features the emblem and dates from 400 to 600 AD. It has also been found carved on everything from houses and cutlery to a pair of thousand-year-old Finnish skis. It’s still found today on maps and signs in northern and eastern Europe, representing places of historical interest. How did ⌘ make the leap from mystical inscription to a key of its own? The answer, according to original Macintosh team member Andy Hertzfeld, is graphic designer Susan Kare.

Digitally native, he couldn’t see the symbol any other way. 3. Transistor (Not Iotatron) On July 1, 1948, Bell Telephone Laboratories announced the creation of a tiny new electronic device that might just change the world. Making such an announcement required the device to have a name. And so, earlier that year, the team of scientists responsible had set up a committee to do just this. ”4 There are no prizes for guessing which was the winner: transistor, a term mixing varistor (a semiconductor diode with resistance dependent on voltage) and transconductance (the ratio between change in current at an output terminal compared to change in the voltage at an input terminal) into a distinctly more manageable whole.

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