February 6, 2013


The submit button. We come across it every day. Yesterday I was doing a revamp on some of the pages on my business website and I came to the submit button. And stopped. And thought about it…

Its a weird word – Submit. Here’s the directory definition (screenshot of my iPhone Dictionary App):

Definition of "submit"


So by clicking a submit button are you surrendering? Submissively surrendering your info?
But how does this gel with the other sense of “submission” – like when you confidently submit a proposal?
Its not a pun in the usual sense of wordplay as in, say, the word “bill” (bill of a bird, bill at a restaurant). No, it seems that somewhere along the line the word shared a common root. Maybe something along the lines of “hand over”. And then the word split into a confident handover versus a fearful handover.

Whatever.¬†The most interesting part of it for me is that we use words like this so often, we don’t even realise what they mean any more…


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Alex Veldtman March 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm

I think you are onto something here!!

How many times have I filled in a web form, only to abandon my effort halfway… dang, I almost did it with this comment!

Could it be that the word submit is subconsciously making me jittery and insecure?

Maybe one should AB test the amount of comments one gets with “Submit” vs “Post Comment”.

Recently I’ve tried to make all the buttons in my software call-to-action-like in their wording (colour coding them twitter bootstrap style as well). My users seem to like it.

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