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Today's jargon is brought to you by The Letter E

...and The Number 2. Here's our insight into understanding the e-world.

Once upon a time - like 1999 - it was tele-everything. But "tele-" ? That's...so over!! "E-" is the prefix that rules.

In case you're not yet tuned in to the e-jargon, here's our short e-guide .

Words + meanings:

e-work - Get your kids excited by telling them you're going to an "E-work conference". They'll probably think you're going to meet something enchanting and fuzzy, usually found in a galaxy far, far away. Come to think of it, they may be right. E-work is the more all-embracing term for telework, including all the new warm-glow work practices that will enable the online force to be with you. 

e-commerce - comes in many flavours: B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) are the usual distinction. So this page is also brought to you by the Number 2. It refers to "all business transactions in which a purchase is made through a telecommunications network". The goods may be tangible - like books, CDs, fridges, ice cream and rare animals; or intangible, like software, music downloads, get-rich-quick schemes, etc.

e-business - A wider concept than e-commerce, taking in all online business processes - "back office",  inventory, marketing, supply chain and logistics functions, just to name a few.  For extra clarity e-businesses are sometimes classified as "Shippers" (suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers) and "Logistics Service Providers" (freight carriers, warehousing firms, 3rd party logistics, etc). So the Number 2 now really has a field day, adding S2S, L2L and S2L to our B2B and B2C concepts.

e-tailer - Nothing to do with buying clothes over the Internet, or pinning things to virtual donkeys. It's an online retailer. Linguistically, dropping the first letter of a word to make an "e-" version of it opens up interesting possibilities. Like "In the e-ginning, Microsoft created..."

e-lancer - This could be a person who relieves the pressure from online boils. But it also conjures up images of jousting and Knights of the Round Table: like e-Lancelot. In fact, it's a wired free-lancer - another wordplay by chipping away the start of a word.

e-device - not sure what this is, but every morning it greets me...

iMac - a slip-of-the-vowels by Apple. Note that in many European languages it will be pronounced "ee-mac" anyway. Using "i-" instead of "e-" has caught on now: not only do we have the ubiquitous ipod, my daughter bought a toy called an "i-dog". I'm still not sure about the significance of the "i" - possibly something to do with Rastafarianism?  "I and I-Mac were surfing the web..."

e-manual - Long prophesied by Isaiah,  this is a handbook we are writing as a complete guide to the online world. Should appear around Christmas.

credibilit-eThis is what you will have in conferences and meetings, now that you've absorbed our e-vocative glossar-e.

Andy Lake (E-ditor)



A sideways look at the jargon...

If you prefer a more light-hearted approach to flexible work and ICT jargon, try the others in our Jargonbuster series:







Ework, Star Wars style, perhaps


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