Name, Terminology, Concept, or Metaphor: Which One You Should Use?
As our community invents and creates new things that did not exist before, calling somethings is getting more complicated. Things here are not limited to tangible things such as Cars that two hundred years ago did not exist but also to intangible things. Intangible things such as internet can’t be touched or smelled, but it has become the backbone of our modern society. But what is a car or the internet? Is it a name, a terminology, a concept, or even a metaphor that referred to certain things? In this short article, we will learn how to use these three words and understand their differences.
Let’s discuss the most commonly used word first, name. Name is how you designate an object or a person (Merriam Webster). When you say a word that is a name, it means you are referring to that object or that person. Rather than refer string of words, calling something by its name is more of a visual stimulus to your brain. When you hear or read a name, your brain will instantly be imagining that. So, in conclusion, you can use a name to recall anything as a form of mnemonic memory.
If the name is generally used to call anything, term terminology is more technical and specific. Term terminology refers to words used in particular fields that have special meanings. In another field, this terminology might have a different meaning. For example, word semantics in computer science describe how the computer processed a command that was typed by the programmer. In linguistics, syntax refers to a sub-field of study that studies the meaning of words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. In conclusion, the terminology is field-bound. You have to be careful when explaining matters in your field to a general audience because not all of them might be familiar with the terminology in your field of study.
Every product that has been existed today was a concept. You could use the word concept to describe an idea or prototype. This word is frequently confused with theory. The main difference between concept and theory is concept is a more general idea. In contrast, theory must be explained and tested. This explanation applies to scientific writing. Meanwhile, in a more casual conversation, you can use it to explain the historical context of certain things that exist today. For example, the concept of the stock market has existed since the 17th century. On the other hand, use the word theory to explain theory from an expert. For example, the theory of black holes was published by Stephen Hawking.
Then, metaphor is a figure of speech that is not true literally. For example, it is raining cats and dogs. The sentence is not meant to be taken literally. There are no cats, and dogs fall over from the sky. The sentence is not literal. It is figurative. When cats and dogs fight, it is really noisy, just like the rain.
In conclusion, name, terminology, concept, and metaphor are very different words. Be careful when using it in your speech or writing. Also, a little advice, make sure you know what you are writing for. If it is experts in your field, you can use that sophisticated words in your field. Meanwhile, when you are writing for the general public, make sure use easy to understand words.