Thursday, March 20, 2014

Changing World - Changing Words!

Did you notice in a recent movie about a group of older adults vacationing in India how two of the characters struggled to make sense of computers? One woman played by (Judy Dench) was trying to explore vacation possibilities in India and the other, (Maggie Smith) was asking advice on how she could order biscuits online. Far from being the exception, the scene is familiar to those of us who didn’t grow up in the age of computers.

There was time when ‘Blackber­ries in Radio Shack,’ conjured up fat, plump fruit nestled among headsets and batteries. Today in the technology world, a handheld Blackberry® is generally known as a mobile smartphone that can perform computer functions, i.e., Internet, messaging, word processing.

Here is a list of new tech meanings of words used today and how they were used not so long ago.

Forms to be written when applying for a job or school.
Computer database, word processors and multimedia programs.
Back up
Move carefully, there’s a bus behind you!
Copy files to a second medium (disk) to prevent loss if the computer fails.
Blue Tooth
Not a good color choice when matching a cap to your teeth.
A way of communicating wirelessly over short distances.
Clip art
Cutting out cartoons when you were in grade school.
Computer-generated pictures.
Cold Boot
Get in out of the cold and take your boots off.
Start up the computer when it is not already on.
The hinged lid on a desk, not to be slammed down.
A metaphor to portray file systems on the computer’s home screen.
Where birds take a drink or bath.
Lettering used in word processing.
Hard Drive
A way of driving that can damage the car’s transmission.
An inflexible magnetic disk with greater storage capacity than a CD.
Black and white part of a large percussion musical instrument.
Part of the computer that contains keys and allows you to type.
Start a fire.
A handheld computer for reading books electronically.
A little rodent.
A handheld device that moves the cursor on the computer screen by rolling a plastic ball along a flat surface.

As we face the challenges of computer vocabulary we can take heart remembering, “Everything will be all right in the end, trust me, if it isn’t all right it’s not the end.”* The end of the ever expanding computer vocabulary is nowhere in sight.

* Final statement in “The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

Angela Menghraj

Photo: "Bluetooth" by Neil Turner