Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What's in a name?

Tiger vs Longhorns.

My mom got me this book when she was visiting, probably everyone else has read it by this point: "Don't Think of an Elephant," from George Lakoff. Mom is foisting it on everyone she knows/meets/preaches to...and well she should. I've using the concept as springboard for a term paper I'm writing, and I'm selling it in all my classes. The book has deeply sensitized me to the vast meaning and interpretation we attach to a word.

Which is why, my loved ones, I halted when I found out that Microsoft is planning to call their new operating system LONGHORN.

What does the word Longhorn mean to you? Cowboys, Texas, independence, ferocity (them horns are sharp), masculinity (have you ever seen a bull's testicles? - not good), and our true-blue American Carnivorous Way of Life. In short, the nation-image held by over half of us, our red-state brethren.

Could it be that the Mac/PC line is the same line separating us politically? I certainly don't want a Longhorn running amok on our PC (yes, we have a PC, Alexis needs it for work - but I will always love my ibook best), just like I don't want people who associate themselves with Longhorn imagery running amok in my country.