Gareth Branwyn garethb2 at EARTHLINK.NET
Wed Jun 20 18:02:00 UTC 2001

Agreed. Or, as was my case with Esquire, the parenthetical clarification
of the term was cut for space reasons. At least they left in my
referring to the term as technobabble, which it is, as used by the auto
industry. I think they may have originally chosen it to refer
exclusively to wireless comms to the car, but then decided they needed a
sexy, futuristic-sounding term for all of the computerized car systems,
so they morphed the term into a catch-all. If you look at some of the
earlier uses (and still with some auto makers), they say things like
"telematics/multimedia/security systems" and other multi-slashed
mouthfulls. I guess it could have been worse. They could have coined
some user-surly term like autonetics or AutoComTech or some other monstrosity.


Paul McFedries wrote:
> Thanks, Gareth. I saw a large number of citations in which the journalists
> must have simply parroted the auto industry's usage. The following from the
> Detroit News is typical:
> "As it was from the beginning, EDS is still a key strategic arm of GM
> worldwide. It continues as a major player in the automaker's engineering,
> manufacturing and communications systems, and has moved importantly into the
> marketing end of the business through telematics -- the provision of a wide
> range of in-vehicle digital information and entertainment services."
> So if the original drift was begun by the industry, the acceleration of that
> drift is being caused by journalists of who don't know any better or who
> don't think it matters to the story, which is a shame either way.
> Paul
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Gareth Branwyn" <garethb2 at EARTHLINK.NET>
> > It's not necessarily journalists who've misunderstood the usage,
> > it's the auto industry that has changed it.

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