What's to become of outdated verbs?

I was reading another thread about outdated song references, and it occurred to me that the dated items weren’t limited to persons, places, or events. I still say that I dial the number, roll down windows and tape TV shows… even though I haven’t seen a rotary phone, a manual car window, or even a VCR in years.

Will these verbs continue to stick around, or am I getting so old that I haven’t realized that they already aren’t in use anymore? (I hope not!)

And just for fun, what are some other examples, recent or otherwise?

Not a verb, but I still call recordings “albums”. Actually, I’m not sure what else one would call them.

I think they’re still albums. They’re just not record albums. Although many people get around this by saying “the new release by…” and similar.

I no longer tape shows, I record them. But I still roll down windows and dial phones.

People still say filming a movie, even though there may or may not be film involved.

It’s funny, I was only thinking about this a couple of days ago when I needed to speak to the driver of the car next to me in standing traffic. Without thinking, I made the “winding” gesture to show him I wanted him to open his window. He did so straight away. What other gesture could we use for that? Miming pressing a button would be very unhelpful, cryptic and open to misinterpretation. Everyone understands turning a handle.

Since you ask about words, I also still use tape, dial and roll or wind down windows. So do my students, so there’s another generation using words which relate to things some of them may never have seen. Far out when you think of it like that.

You might want to distinguish between a verb which is no longer necessary because of changes in technology, and those which are logical extensions of the very metaphorical nature of language. You’re scrolling down your computer screen right now, aren’t you? Was the verb scroll as used for this purpose “outdated” from its inception?

That’s different from saying, “I need to mimeograph this document,” when actually you just want to copy it.

I don’t use “dial” anymore to refer to calling a number; I just say “call” such-and-such a number.

AFAIK, the tone you get when you pick up a phone is still officially called a dial tone, in spite of an almost complete absence of rotary-dial telephones these days.

(this is a sound ,not a verb, but it’s related: )

all cameras these days produce a totally fake sound of a mechanical shutter , so you can hear when the picture has been taken. Today, most people can still remember that sound from film cameras, so it has a logical function. But in another generation, people are going to wonder why their cameras make such a weird scratchy noise when it would be more logical to , say, make a simple beep.

SLR cameras - even digital ones - do make some real mechanical noises.

But on point-and-shoot digital cameras, the pre-recorded sound I hear is not just the shutter, but also an automatic film-advance motor. Two obsolete sounds for the price of one! :smiley:

Speaking of phones, how about the idea that a phone is ringing? This of course goes back to when there was an actual mechanical bell on the phone.

It’s been a long time since I saw a phone like that. In spite of this, cell phones allow you to specify “ring” tones.

Can you imagine if some guy named Alexander Graham Hammer had invented the phone?

[Wham! Wham! Wham!]
Watson! Come quickly! I need you!

Wham! Wham! Wham!
That is funny!

I don’t think “dialing” a phone is going away. Rotary phones had already gone by the wayside well before I was born, but I’ve still “dialed” phones my whole life. It’ll just live on that much more disconnected from its etymology, like so many other words.

People on radio and TV are still telling me “Don’t touch that dial!”

I don’t think I’ve had a television or a radio with a dial on it in 30 years…

I always thought what had happened that the buttons on a non-cell phone were still considered a dial, and, thus, to use them is still considered dialing.

And while you don’t dial phone numbers as much anymore, you still dial special codes and stuff for things don’t actually call anyone.

That’s because you’ve adopted the new (well, not so new anymore…) use of the word. But, of course, originally, it was called dialing because there was, you know, a dial in the sense of a rotating object. (And this in turn goes back to the idea of a sundial, with “dial” being cognate to the word “day”)

They’re not outmoded. Their meanings have changed. Simple as that.

The first words would have been “Stop, collaborate and listen!”

Almost, man, almost.

But I saw where you were going with that, and it had promise.