During the last five years, the adjective “smart” has gained importance as a “discourse principle” (Foucault, 1972) with respect to different, interconnected
domains. In order to better understand the meaning and the pragmatic role played nowadays by the “smartness” concept and, furthermore, by the wide correlated linguistic area, it is useful to have a brief overlook on this specific landscape. Moving from the smart city reference, we can observe that this label “was born in 1994, but papers regarding this topic are few or zero until 2010, when the European Union started to use ‘smart’ to qualify sustainability projects and actions in the urban space” (Cocchia, 2014, p. 18). It’s not unnatural to think at the role played, since 2007, by the symbolic reference of Apple’s iPhone, the first smart phone. In fact, the ubiquitous presence of ICTs, surely as a digital media, is one of the most structural characterisations of the smart city reference. Gathering the wide ensemble of adjectives connoting the city’s post-fordist transition to a glocal and network space, it’s a very useful way to set the semantic area underlying the smart city concept. An incomplete list of terms shows the emergence of two main families.