My e-Blog e-Post

We are often told that the "e" in "e-n" means "electronic" but this is only rarely true. E-Trade is hardly distinguished for any other trading firms in in the electronic nature of its trading. Similarly, we are left to wonder if eBay is really an "electronic bay" and, if so, what that could possibly mean.

The inaccuracy of this explanation was humorously visible in the dot-com boom where the likes of and seemed to (successfully) be using the prefix "e" to mean little more than "invest in me" and when a domain registrar was sued for accidentally registering — and then rescinding — the prohibited (by specification) domain name "" to an entrepreneur who, like everyone else, had no idea what "e" meant but who had quite clearly observed that "e" was the new "$".

In turn, Apple has made "i" the new "e" hoping people will forget that the "i" in "iMac" once stood for Internet and that they will not notice that the "iPod" is completely unable to connect to the network on its own.

Mika was telling me that in Japanese "良い" means good and is often pronounced in the same way that English speaker pronounces the name of the letter "e." As a result, prefixing something with "e" in Japanese is done to mean something is good.

If you ask me, the Japanese have both the more correct answer and the more plausible excuse.