Re: Renaming "Audiovisual"

Gary Handman (
Thu, 10 Apr 1997 12:47:48 -0700 (PDT)


As much as I agree with you about the importance linguistic elegance and
precision, it seems to me that language is also an infinitely fluid and
flexible commodity. Mrs Perry, my 6th grade Latin teacher, would certainly
agree with your reading of the various etymological readings of "media," but
let's face it: the term media has, by common usage, come to be intimately
associated with electronic forms of communication, particularly moving image
and broadcast communications. Yeah, it's the rubric du jour, I agree. On the
other hand, the term "Audio-visual" while theoretically perfectly serviceable
and descriptive, has picked up a powerful lot of connotative baggage over the
last half century. At this late date in this media-soaked century,
"AV" has the distinct ring of techno-obsolescence about it...the smell of
melting celluloid filmstrips
and hot 16mm lamps...

One thing I do know for sure, I may be able to sell Sun and PacBell
on the idea of throwing money at a New Media Center on my campus; I don't
think I could convince em' to underwrite and AV Center.

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000