Infrastructure Access Point aka
April 30, 2020 9:19 PM   Subscribe

I've noticed *things* in English seem to be getting a technological inflation. Manhole Cover becomes Infrastructure Access Point. Register becomes Point Of Sale. I'm not sure this is an actual trend but if so, I'm curious if other languages are using more complex names as well.
posted by rebent to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
There is certainly a trend in NZ to americanisation of many words like the superfluous addition of *ation to transport and other words, some individuals have a need to make things more than what they are. Plus the creep of horrid terms like learnings.

You can still find manhole covers for sale here though, a search on site:.nz "Infrastructure Access Point" gets 0 hits. Hopefully with the waning of the US we'll see less of such things.
posted by unearthed at 9:40 PM on April 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


I would think an Infrastructure Access Point is very non-specific, it could be a door to a phone closet or the entrance to a server farm.

I have seen manhole cover become person hole cover, which became access hatch.
posted by Marky at 10:05 PM on April 30, 2020 [5 favorites]


Similarly Point Of Sale could be a cash register or it could be an iPad with a card reader shoved up it.
posted by aubilenon at 10:10 PM on April 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


You’re seeing one of two opposing forces in language evolution: common patterns getting worn down through repetition like contractions, and ones in need of emphasis, precision, or differentiation growing new words and syllables.
posted by migurski at 10:34 PM on April 30, 2020 [8 favorites]


Seems to me that Manhole Cover should become Infrastructure Access Point Cover. It is the Manhole that is being modified.
posted by AugustWest at 12:42 AM on May 1, 2020


I believe what you're thinking of is a "term of art."
posted by sexyrobot at 12:59 AM on May 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


Register is becoming EPOS. POS, point of sale, is not the register itself but a term for the checkout area.
posted by parmanparman at 4:41 AM on May 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


Recency bias. In the 60s-70s we joked about how "janitor" had become "sanitation engineer."
posted by JimN2TAW at 6:49 AM on May 1, 2020 [9 favorites]


These labels are technobabble, but the average level of technobabble has risen as the technology has become widespread. So sounding 'smart' means using the technobabble, and there's more technology coming for us to babble about.
posted by k3ninho at 12:28 PM on May 1, 2020


We changed 'man hole' to 'maintenance hole'. Mainly because Physical Plant didn't want to have to update a bazillion AutoCAD files to change 'MHXXX' to something else. Not to mention all of the signs and labels. Inside MH100 are conduits that are labeled as going to MH101, MH204, MH206, etc. It's a real PITA to change the names of those physically labeled things and it would never be a completed task.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:30 PM on May 1, 2020


FWIW, George Carlin had a bit in his 1990 TV special which lamented the evolution of "shell shock" in WWI to "battle fatigue" in WWII to "operational exhaustion" in the Korean War to "post-traumatic stress disorder" in the Vietnam War.
posted by mhum at 5:56 PM on May 4, 2020


Now that I think about it, ‘term of art’ is just a term of art for ‘marketing bullshit.’
posted by sexyrobot at 5:55 PM on May 11, 2020


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