Is anyone bothered when the media refers to Apple as a “gadget maker?” Merriam-Webster.com defines gadget as, “Small?” Most certainly. “practical use,” quite certainly. I’m hung up over that last part, “novelty.” Now, there’s nothing wrong with “new,” but novelty goes hand-in-hand with phrases like, “flash in the pan,” and, “when the novelty wears off.” I had a cousin who used to create novelty/joke items. There was no expectation of longevity. Most of his novelties satirized a fashion or pop culture trend - a satire rarely outlasts its inspiration. Each successful gag item had its day in the sun, then drifted off towards oblivion (if only he'd held the patent on the whoopee cushion or joy buzzer). A fair part of my dislike of the term is that I believe it reveals a bias in the writer or publication. It may help feed the, “Apple is going to crash tomorrow,” narrative. Though the term is used to describe Samsung as well, the citations are fewer, and often are found attached to phrases like, “fellow gadget-maker Apple.” Sorry, neither company fits the description as far as I’m concerned. Apple makes computers. Even when not marketed as such, even though the company removed that word from its corporate name, iPhones and iPads are computers. They are telephones. They are music players, cameras… You know the list. None of these functions are novelties. If mobile devices performed those functions shabbily, so that people would tire of using them… novelty. But have people returned to flip phones, point-and-shoot cameras, and pagers once the novelty of their smart phone wore off? If the iPod is a gadget, than so is any kind of music player, going back to Edison’s wax cylinders (hell, even the player piano and wind-up music box). Playing pre-recorded music stopped being a novelty well over 100 years ago, around the same time the telephone ceased being a novelty. Miniaturization does not turn a well-established tool or appliance into a novelty. And though people may reasonably debate whether a portable telephone is a necessity, useful option, or luxury, I don’t see how it’s merely a gadget. Over and over again, Apple’s “gadgets” have changed the way we live our lives, changed the structure of entire industries. Maybe that’s enough to eventually change the definition of gadget, but maybe the media could apply their mastery of language to the selection of a more neutral, accurate term.