This is a post about anachronistic language that hasn't yet caught up with reality.

For example, on the news you'll often see a clip that the newsreader says was "caught on tape" even though, I'm sure, most of the time anymore it wasn't captured on tape at all, but more like on a memory card or directly into a computer's memory. No tape involved at all.

Here's another one: We all refer to our iPhones, Galaxies, EVO's, etc. as "phones" when, in fact, they are handheld radios.

Got any examples of your own?

Tags: anachronisms, anachronistic, language

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Kodachrome was film rolls. Echtachrome was slide and a much cooler, as in temperature film. Shot about a thousand rolls of Echtachrome overseas but just love the warmth and detail from Kodachrome especially the super slow stuff I used in bright sunlight or with flash, Asa 24.

I never had much chance to work with Kodachrome. By the time I was in college, all K-14 processing was done in one place in the United States, so it was kind of a pain to have to ship out for development. Almost everything I shot for positive film was E-6 which I could process myself at school. I tended to prefer Fuji anyway, but being right on the cusp of the industry transition to digital, it didn't matter much going forward anyway.

You drive in a 'Parkway', and park in a 'Driveway'.

I have one which serves as a bit of a pet peeve. Whenever someone goes on a rant about manipulative photo editing, I cringe a bit when they refer to 'airbrushing' photos. In other contexts, I don't really care, but if you're going to criticize, try not to reference a retouching technique that largely died off in the 90s (though perhaps some retouchers use simulated digital airbrushes to this day).

Still in the photography vein, when small format dslr bodies first emerged, we still referred to them as 35mm, even though the actual sensor size was smaller. If you wanted a 35mm sensor at the time, you had to use digital photobacks which were designed to go on medium to large format bodies. Now that full frame sensors matching the size of a traditional 35mm film plane are quite common, I rarely hear someone refer to them as 35mm cameras.

In Canada we still refer to the five-cent piece as a nickel despite the fact that they are made of steel with almost no nickel in them (though there is nickel plating, so I guess that counts for something).

As a kid we still called it pencil lead even though none of us had ever used a lead pencil in our lives. I still do occasionally as a grown up, but I'm not sure if younger generations still do.

Using the term "Indian" to refer to aboriginal peoples in North America. Where I live, if someone says 'Indian', it's probably in reference to India, but some people (including aboriginals) still say 'Indian' with the former definition and it still exists in some legal contexts.

Popeye cigarettes. They phased out the name, but I refuse to acknowledge 'candy sticks'. 

Tossing around the ol' pigskin. I like terms like this -- I don't think they should disappear --, but it is still an inaccurate term referencing the past (though I'm sure you can still get old-school balls somewhere). 

Swearing, cursing, and profaning. This is more the result of word meanings changing over time rather than anachronisms, but I'm including it because it is topical. Telling someone to fuck off is not polite or civil, but it isn't a curse or a swear and it doesn't profane anything.

To be noble, a gentleman or a lady refers to behavior or disposition today. These originated as actual nobility in the British social class system. A gentleman, for example, indicated the landed gentry: a man of wealth, high birth and good social standing who did not need to work for a living.

Telling people (of the lower classes) to 'act like gentlemen' was a literal reference to members of a higher social status as models for 'proper' behavior, based on the idea that one should aspire to emulate his betters.



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