I was reading another thread about outdated song references, and it occurred to me that the dated items weren’t limited to persons, places, or events.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?
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 Was the verb scroll as used for this purpose “outdated” from its inception?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.
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.
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.
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”)