Elmer Bol, Director of Reality Capture at Autodesk says he does not use the term point cloud. He prefers the concept of a range image. Elmer explains that a range image is usually a 5,000 x 10,000 matrix of points, per scan where the X and Y coordinates are stored, with range as the third coordinate value.
It helps to visualize this for a moment. Most surveyors think of Z as height/elevation, as with GNSS, but that is not the case with laser scanning. When you think about it I believe this does make more sense than the term point cloud, at least from the software side.