A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about technology’s influence on our penmanship. It appears that as technology continues to advance, our writing skills are decreasing. In fact, writing curriculums are now being replaced with technology classes in primary and secondary schools. However, technology advancement has not only influenced our writing skills. It also has played a major role in our language. As technology continues to revolve, our language has become divided between the use of old and new words/phrases. Today we use terms such as: Tweet, iMessage, Retweet, Blog, etc. (and I am sure that 30 years ago, these terms would have been foreign to most people.)
Unlike our writing skills, however, some of our old habitual language has yet to die and continues to be used…even though the meaning has altered drastically.
I found an article on Mashable that lists several of these phrases and in a humorous way, pokes fun of when we say them now. These phrases and terms, similar to “retweet,” were developed to describe a literal action. However, they are still used today…although the action as changed due to technological advancement.
Here are some examples that might help explain:
- Dial – When I call my mom on the phone I often say I am dialing her number. However, in reality, pressing numbers on my touch screen phone is not dialing. “The term goes back to the beginning of the telephone era, when phones had a rotary dial — a switchboard users needed to swing each number. Rotary phones haven’t been used for decades, but people still say they’re dialing away.”
- Clicker – My roommate McKenzie calls our remote control the clicker. However, our remote has gripper-like buttons, makes no noises, and matches our lovely flat screen TV. This term originated “because in the early days of television, the control used to make a very loud clicking sound.”
- Rewind – When my friends and I are watching a Netflix movie or a YouTube video and we want to rewatch a funny scene, we rewind the clip. However, we technically are not rewinding…”there’s nothing to wind anymore — to rewind something requires physical tape.”
From these examples, and others provided by the article below, it is clear to see that technology has clearly advanced and terms we once used to describe the technological advancements of the 1900’s are now becoming outdated….yet, they are still being used with less of a literal meaning.
With all of this, and my post about penmanship, it is interesting to watch as technology begins to alter our lives. Slowly but surely, technology has begun to influence our practical skills, our language, and our human interaction….scary to think that it has that much effect.