Electrifying   Leave a comment

Electric is the broader category, requiring only that a current course through an object or emotion. An electric shaver or electric scooter.
Electronic is a more narrow and bland concept, using electric power, but as processed through microchips and transistors. There are no electronic speeches or performances.

We love our electronics, but we’d rather experience electric events. Even “electronic mail” sounds boring though it and its descendants delight us so. Laptop, iPod, cell phone, Gameboy, all electronics, all more beloved than the electric flashlight and the electric slide. We like electronics, but they did an awful job with the word. I mean, we like trons- Scantron, Megatron, Titantron, what have you. But electronics don’t really have any more to do with electrons than things that are simply electric.

I guess they had to distinguish from simply electric, and the better word was already taken, but so much potential to end up with the lame word “electronic”. It’s an instance of simplicity being the best available product. It’s rarely ever good to be adding syllables into the middle of a very good word. And “tron” especially triggers very cube-ish and tacky-red-glow imagery. It’s not at all an improvement over the jagged beam of fierce, lively, power that “electric” brings to mind.

As “electronic” shows, it’s not the size of a word that make it powerful so much as its simple resonance.


Posted February 19, 2010 by Wada in Uncategorized

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