Tuesday, August 17, 2010

iPad - What's in a name?

I recently read a friend's blog post in which he found the "shape" used in a number of hoardings around the city to be "offensive". And bearing that shape in mind, it got me to thinking about the early issue of the iPad's name.

I read a few things at the time of the iPad's announcement in which people compared the name to the simple short form "pad" for a something completely unrelated, and why the iPad was likened to that, while things such as notepads weren't.

What I think it comes down to is something like a notepad has a significant first part, note, and when we think of that, it's "note" that has more prominence in our minds than "pad" so it's a pad for taking notes. Similar with a legal pad. The "pad" part is less important what type of pad it is, and "pad" simply completes the name.

A launchpad is focused more on the launch than it is on the pad. It's a place to launch something, rather than a pad being launched.

But when it comes to the iPad, the "i" simply isn't significant enough, it's not a word or a concept in its own right. While there's "I" for ourselves, we know that's not what that "i" is, so it doesn't stand alone, basically leaving just a pad.

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