dburrows/ blog/ entry/ Why should Europeans get all the cool words?

My sister is studying at a German university. Having talked to her about her experiences there means I can understand blog posts like this one instead of just being confused.

For non-Europeans: apparently in some parts of continental Europe video projectors are called beamers. Given how much more succinct and easy on the vocal apparatus beamer is than video projector, not to mention that it's plain cool, I think we should adopt the name here in the States. All in favor: refer to the next video projector you see as a beamer. If enough of us do it they'll call it a movement!

UPDATE: the original post confused overhead and video projectors. I always have used the terms interchangably, and apparently incorrectly. I'm not sure why: maybe it's partly because when I was a kid the only projectors I encountered were overheads. Anyway, several readers wrote me to say that beamer is quite specifically a term for a video-projector and not at all a term for the overhead type. My bad.

Comment by Meike Reichle on 2007-12-13:

Hey Daniel!

actually we do call an overhead projector[0] simply an "Overhead" (in the former GDR is used to be called a "Polylux"). A "Beamer" is a video projector[1].

Best wishes from Germany, Meike

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:OHP-sch.JPG [1] http://www.audio-ideas.com/reviews/video/graphics/LG-JT41.jpg

Comment by Magnus Therning on 2007-12-13:

No, /video projectors/ are called beamers in some places.

Search for "beamer" on wikipedia and you'll find "Video projector, a pseudo-anglicism in a number of languages including German and Dutch."

An overhead projector is quite a different thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overhead_projector

/Magnus (wearing his besserwisser hat)