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Confessions of an ebook eater

Kristian Walsh

What's a "Pointer-to-Book"?

First, I know nobody who uses the word "book" to refer only to an electronic document, so the "pbook" nonsense is totally redundant. There are, at this point in history, "books" (paper) and "e-books" (electronically stored and displayed). When paper books do become the tiny minorty (and it's not going to be for decades), we'll coin a term for them; and my money is on that term being the straightforward "paper books", just as "film camera" versus "camera" has replaced "camera" versus "digital camera" since digital photography became the universal technology.

Second, when coining English words, it's generally a good idea to use the consonant patterns of the language. "vlog" was bad enough (no other English word , but "pbook" can only be sounded by a native English speaker as "pook" ...or "book", and I don't know a language where "pb" would be sounded separately. (Say "drop bear" and listen carefully to the sounds you're making. The consonant at end of "drop" will be shared with the start of "bear". Now concentrate on sounding both separately. Awkward, isn't it?)

So, someone decided to coin a new word that's spelled only slightly differently to an existing word that's already universally understood to describe the exact same thing (and with that meaning is one of the thousand most common words in English), but the new word also has the added stupidity that it can only be pronounced in a way that makes it sounds exactly the same as the existing word it's supposed to replace. Bravo!

(and the biggest problem with e-books is that you can't hold multiple pages open with your fingers as you cross-reference an index, the place you were reading, and the description of the term that the place you're reading has just referenced)

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