I’m feeling cranky because I don’t like certain linguistic inventions that I keep spotting all over the Internet. Notably, I’m not a big fan of the terms “webinar,” which is a snappy little name coined to describe a web-based seminar, and “webpreneur,” a designation for an entrepreneur who makes his or her living on the Internet or from some Internet-based product or initiative.
Yeah, it probably makes me an old fogey. But I still don’t like them. I think that, at some point, you can take things too far, and those are both prime examples. Sure, it’s worked for some words or concepts, but I think those are examples of taking the cutesy little “web-” prefix and attaching it to a word or partial word to make a new term that’s just silly, not informative or catchy.
“Webpreneur” really bothers me more than “webinar.” I mean, can you imagine yourself chatting with an acquaintance at a cocktail party and saying “Oh, yes, I used to work in hospital management/information technology/academia/bottlewashing but I decided to chuck it all and live out my lifelong dream of becoming a webpreneur”? No, no, no. If you really can imagine yourself doing that, power to you. If you can take yourself seriously doing that, then you’re a better person than I am. But I have to tell you that I may roll my eyes behind your back when you excuse yourself to get another cosmopolitan/mojito/insert-name-of-trendy-drink-here.
Also, you may have noticed that one major “web-” word–“weblog”–eventually just shed the “web-” and become just “blog.” I gues it wouldn’t make much sense to say that you’re a “preneur” but for God’s sake, is it really that hard to say that you’re an entrepreneur, period, end of story? And then if someone asks you for more details, you can tell them about the web part? Sigh.
Okay, rant over. There are people I like and respect who use these words, so I’ve made my issue known, and now I’ll stop because I’ve said my piece. I feel a little better now.