With all the lucky first Google Glass owners now starting to receive their wearable face computers in the mail, we are already seeing a rise in the "glasshole"—an endearing term used to describe people who do not use the gadgets in socially acceptable ways. Even before there were so many Glass wearers out in the wild, "glasshole" had started to catch-on beyond the tech-set. After first appearing in TechCrunch in January, it was selected as the Urban Dictionary word of the day in March. Then, just the other day Business Insider sanctioned it as the "new word to describe inconsiderate Google Glass users." Or, in the words of Bruce Schneier the legendary computer security expert: "We're seeing the birth of a new epithet, 'glasshole.'" But, how did "glasshole" get the honor of representing all the terrible Glass wearing humans out there, why not glasswipe or glasshat or, something completely different, like Google Jerkbots?
"There's a reason 'glasshole' came first — it's more intuitively obvious," linguist Ben Zimmer told The Atlantic Wire. Asshole is a much more common term than asswipe, asshat, or assface. Even as I type, the little red typo line appears under those other terms, but even my spellchecker is familiar with the a-word. Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg chronicled the rise of the term above the rest in his book Ascent of the A-Word. "Within a generation the asshole had become a basic notion of our everyday moral life, replacing older reproaches like phony, lout and heel with a single inclusive moral category," he writes on his site. First used as GI slang during World War II, the term became ubiquitous in just a few decades. "By 1970 it was found across the culture, in country and western songs, the movies of Clint Eastwood and Woody Allen, the plays of Neil Simon, and the essays of Tom Wolfe," writes Nunburg.