My concern about the change or adjustment in the terms is the current expression of the subject by many people that they are glad that we don't have to do genealogy any more because we have family history. In this context, the people making this statement are insinuating that the practice of genealogy is no longer desirable and that switching to "family history" will avoid all of the negative associations of genealogy: i.e. work, research, sources, accuracy, ancestors and all that.
As Nathan states however, the use of the terms may reflect regional or ethnic differences also. Quoting from his article:
Another interesting idea – how are the terms used differently in British English and American English? In the United Kingdom, a society dedicated to discovering one’s ancestors is called a “family history society.” In the United States, the same group is referred to as a “genealogical society.” Are there any real differences in the activities and purposes of these organizations? Or is this simply a difference between British English and American English?The comments in response to Nathan's article are predictable with some attempting to distinguish the two by attributing an emphasis to stories to the term "family history" and making the assumption that genealogy (and genealogists) somehow ignore the "fun or interesting" parts of the family for the dry old stuff like names, dates and relationships. To the extent that those who consciously use the term "family history" in an attempt to denigrate genealogy, the term is not just a harmless alternative. There is a marked division by some of the comments that the lives and stories of our ancestors has no part in "genealogy." To this extent, the attempt is to make genealogy go away as a negative and hardly useful activity.
In a response to a comment, Nathan says, "I’m wondering if the idea that there are weird people out there only interested in pedigrees is a myth." I assume this is a question. My answer is that if it is a myth, it is a really alive and persistent myth. I used to think people avoided me because I was a lawyer. Now that I do genealogy virtually full time, I realize that they are avoiding me because I am a genealogist.
To those who believe that the term genealogy should disappear, I would suggest they rethink their opinion and understand that the terms are essentially and for all practical purposes referring to exactly the same thing. On the other hand if they think genealogists should disappear, I suggest that ask themselves where all the stories are going to come from if no one does the research?