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26 November 2006 @ 07:43 pm
Why Rename Everything?  
I just found out that there is no longer any such thing as first degree, second degree and third degree burns. The official names have changed to superficial, partial thickness and full thickness. Why?
So many things get renamed these days, and often there is either at least some kind of nod to political correctness (Siamese twins >>> conjoined twins) or some legitimate reason why the old name may have been confusing (tidal wave >>> tsunami). But occasionally, it just seems like our culture is on a rabid renaming spree. Some things get officially renamed for no reason at all!
Renaming the burn designations serves no purpose, and could even serve to confuse people who might be working from their memory of older first aid manuals. In an emergency, you don't want anyone to be confused! What if someone died?
I'll tell you one big reason why things get officially renamed even when it makes no sense. Simple power trips. If you come up with a new word for something, and you get everyone to use your new word and discard the old one, it is going to be an enormous boost to your ego. It might even be a big boost to your career, especially if you are known for inventing a new term that became the standard.
And what happens when people are told that an old word is now wrong? They jump on the bandwagon. They help the replacement process, because they don't want to appear like they aren't up on what's current. Besides, it is a big ego boost to be known as the person who was the first in your area to start using a new term that everyone eventually had to switch to. You were the person who knew something, and others ended up conforming to your habits. Nobody wants to be thought of as an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy, using words that are past their expiration date.
Murasakimurasaki_suki on November 27th, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
I think you're right about the renaming for Teh Powah! of it all.

In the early days of the computer boom, companies would rename their old, broken crap in the hopes that people wouldn't catch on that merely a few superficial changes were made to the old product. Of course the new product was still buggy as hell, but we were all supposed to ignore that because of the New And Improved Name!