On the Language of Innovation - The Patent Argot - The more things change, the more they stay the same.
“The difficulty of forming a clear conception of the subject is increased by the fact that while we have to deal with novel and strange facts, we have also to use old words in novel and inconsistent senses.”
-Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, 1873, Discussing how even the intelligent and well-informed continued to find the technology surround the telegraph inscrutable.
"An idea does not pass from one language to another without change."
-Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo (1864 - 1936), The Tragic Sense of Life, 1913
“In patent applications and legal documents, too, the inventors had reason to think about their topic in the broadest possible terms: e.g. The giving, printing, stamping, and otherwise transmitting signals or the sounding of alarms, or the communication of intelligence. ...Confusion inspired anecdotes which often turned on awkward new meanings for familiar terms.”
-Describing inventions in the time of the telegraph - The Information by James Gleick, 2010