The Greek root technos means "art" and "skill", and the Greek root logos means "word" and "meaning". English usage of the root logos as -logy generally indicates the study of a subject, which one could in turn perceive as attaching meaning to the subject and developing a nomenclature for it. One exception to this usage is "technology" which is not so much the study of art and skill, but the practical application of knowledge, or a method of accomplishing a task (source: www.merriam-webster.com).

Someone suggested that a narrower definition "technology" is more appropriate, so I started weighing the matter myself. Since a direct translation of "technos logos" could be the "art of words", I figured that my thoughts on how to use words in a writeup would fit well under the term technology.

There are many arguments that ensue from an assumption that the meaning behind a phrase or word is wholly contained by the word or words themselves. This line of argumentation leads away from understanding what a person meant when they used the word or phrase. Instead, the argument will be about the imaginary "real" definition of a word in the phrase.

However, part of the greatness of E2 is the personal spin put in the writeups by their authors, so words that may be inappropriate can be used to suggest a new way of looking at some information, for example, calling Name signs a technology rather than part of speech as etoile suggested could lead a reader to a new appreciation of sign language, or someone researching technology to incorporate forms of it that have nothing to do with machines.

Voting is also a technology, a method of accomplishing the task of aggregating the opinions of a multitude of voters. A prudent application of such a technology could change everything.

Despite how often I refer to the first world as a negative concept in my writing, I don't take technology for granted. My mother once told me an anecdote in which the use of technology would’ve been lifesaving. While riding his bicycle at night in the rural village of Hengyang in China, my maternal grandfather was bitten by a many-banded krait, one of the most venomous snakes in the world. He was rushed to the local village hospital and began to suffer early symptoms of a venomous bite, such as blurred vision and delirium. The doctor was not familiar with the effects of this rare snake, and thus underestimated the danger of the situation. My grandfather was transported on foot to an army hospital miles away in the hopes of finding antivenom there, but he was out of luck, and he passed away from his injury hours later. Had there been an online directory in which snake types and local antivenom availability were clearly documented, my grandfather might still be alive today.

Tech*nol"o*gy (?), n. [Gr. an art + -logy; cf. Gr. systematic treatment: cf. F. technologie.]

Industrial science; the science of systematic knowledge of the industrial arts, especially of the more important manufactures, as spinning, weaving, metallurgy, etc.

Technology is not an independent science, having a set of doctrines of its own, but consists of applications of the principles established in the various physical sciences (chemistry, mechanics, mineralogy, etc.) to manufacturing processes.

Internat. Cyc.

 

© Webster 1913.

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