Retronym: computer website

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 24 06:08:25 UTC 2013

>From the Barrett-Goncharoff exchange, it seems that Wintel users have no
qualms about using <PC> as a generic for a desktop or portable computer
with traditional keyboard & monitor/screen. But Mac folks get upset at the
extension of <PC> to their products. I predict that <PC> has a good chance
of becoming a universal generic because:  (1) Wintel proprietors have never
aggressively resisted the loss of a <<PC>> trademark through serious
litigation (I guess they never took dictionary purveyors to court over the
matter, common adjective & noun after all); (2) Wintel users represent a
global critical mass; (3) Mac/Apple folks have no catchy alternative to
generic <PC>, hence this thread; indeed, they mostly seem to stick their
heads in the sand and decry the inevitability of language change. There's
nobody to sue.
Wikipedia s.v. <<IBM Personal Computer>> (original IBM PC model 5150, 1981)
Begin quote:
Alongside "microcomputer" and "home computer", the term "personal computer"
was already in use before 1981. It was used as early as 1972 to
characterize Xerox PARC's Alto. However, because of the success of the IBM
Personal Computer, the term PC came to mean more specifically a
microcomputer compatible with IBM's PC products.
End quote
Also Wikip s.v. <<Influence of the IBM PC on the personal computer market>>

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