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JUNE 21, 2009 7:40PM

Peggy Noonan to Silicon Valley: cut out the silly names

Rate: 9 Flag

At the end of an otherwise reasonable column about the Iranian uprising Peggy Noonan went off the deep end again yesterday. First she unleashed her inner Edmund Burke, dialing the Wayback Machine to the 1790s to try to reimagine the excesses of the French Revolution ricocheting around the world via Twitter. She asks, “Would Thomas Jefferson have been able to continue his blithe indifference if reports of France grimly murdering France had been Twittered out each day?” Hey, Tom — forget about the allies who just helped you win independence. Never mind your own revolutionary experience. Disavow those tumbrels!

This spasm of Noonanity is immediately followed by another, even sillier one, an observation on the inconsiderate naming habits of technological innovators:

The great question is what modern technology can do not in the short term so much as the long. It is not the friend of entrenched tyranny. Connected to which, it would be nice if the technologies of the future were not given babyish names. Twitter, Google, Facebook, etc., have come to be crucial and historically consequential tools, and yet to refer to them is to talk baby talk. In the future could inventors please keep the weight and dignity of history in mind?

That’s right, Sergei and Larry, Ev and Biz, Zuckerberg et al: Listen to your old aunt Peggy. Stop making fools of yourselves. Every time you give one of your companies a wacky name, you are sabotaging the gravitas of pundits everywhere. Just stop it, kids, now: you’re making the talking heads look silly!

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Indeed. It's downright embarrassing compared to civilized discussion of the Boston Tea Party. Now there's a dignified protest.

Somehow I'm reminded in my mind that someone once observed how darned lucky we are that Christ died on a simple device like a cross and not something like a guillotine or an electric chair. Imagine how complicated jewelry would be, or how complex a motion genuflection would be, if it had been otherwise.

History is what it is. The Future will make do.
When the national debt reaches a number described by the number one followed by a hundred zeros, will that be baby talk too?

Thank you for this.
Somewhat on topic - I just posted a reprint item from the NYT about how Orthodox Jews who can't use Google can get around it now by using a link called Koogel. (Rolls eyes.)
Peggie Noonan is a washed up conservative hack and just like David Brooks and a few others I can think of; she needs to stay on Morning Joe and suck down that expensive elitist brand coffee with her lib friends. The only thing I can think of worse than listening to Peggie's silly rants would be to be tied down on a water board and have Amy Winehouse sit on my face. That would be bad. Thank you for the provided space.
Peggy Noonan, Product Manager for Web 3.0! Right! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
I already went through my phase of explaining with a certain amount of indignation how stupid appropriated words like "Wiki" were. I got over it and have accepted their reality.

We update wikis. We twitter. The mascot for a sophisticated operating system upon which much of the internet's infrastructure depends is a chubby penguin.

Embrace it. And if this is the sort of thing that bothers you, remember that it's a free country and a free internet: invent your own innovations and give them grown-up names and see if they catch on.
"I Googled that after I saw it on Twitter, and it gave me a case of the Noonans."
Peggy Noonan is a creep.
Peggy Noonon gets my Shallow Twits Award of the Day.

Where has the woman been that she doesn't know why Google is called google? I mean, I've known since 1962, when Google hadn't even been invented yet. What else about the weight and dignity of history does the woman not know?