When new tech terms solidify, they stick on tight. Colloquially, all copiers are "Xerox machines," any web searches are "Googling," and every tiny laptop is a "netbook."
At its big unveiling today, Sanyo tried to introduce a new term: dual cameras. Its latest line of Xacti video cameras are not just "camcorders," the company insists. While the handheld cameras capture high-definition video, they also allow for quick digital stills. This dual purpose demands a "dual camera" title.
We'll see if the label sticks.
Newly introduced terms quickly gain a life of their own. One origin story for "netbook" says that Intel's marketing team coined it after the company crafted a chip specifically designed for lightweight, low-cost, energy-efficient, and feature-sparse notebooks. Consumers – and other marketers – loved the idea of lightweight netbooks, but quickly ignored the rest of Intel's definition.
People now mistakenly use the term to describe the MacBook Air, which is certainly slim, but sports a giant pricetag, mediocre efficiency, and doesn't skimp on features. But what can you do? The word stuck.
While the media plays a big role in deciding stickiness – the Monitor tries its best to not use terms too loosely – "dual camera" is now in the hands of the people. Good luck.