You’re reading this so you probably know I like to write. Usually I try to be funny. But today’s post is about a few expressions I hear pretty often and I can’t figure out why they’re still used. I’m not going to do my usual thing and call them stupid. Let’s just call them “out-of-date” and say they should be retired. So here they are:
1. DIAL A NUMBER: I don’t think anyone’s dialed a number in what — 10 or 20 years? I know I never have. A lot of kids don’t even know what a phone with a dial looks like (unless they watch old movies). But what word should replace it? Should we “press a number,” “punch a number,” “hit a number”? You got me. I know in Spanish it’s something like “oprime” because the computerized voice on a phone says, “Oprime dos.” But I don’t think “oprime” will be a big hit with most people.
2. To TAPE something or “LET’S LOOK AT THE TAPE.”: I just heard Dr. Phil say that second expression on his show the other day. Or people will talk about “taping a conversation.” But there isn’t any tape involved anymore, is there? That was when people actually had “tape recorders,” not “digital voice recorders” or DVD players. So what’s the new term going to be? Obviously Dr. Phil can say, “Let’s look at the video.” Maybe I’ll have to get in touch with him about that. I’m sure he’d take my call. (Joke.)
3. My grandfather still uses the expression “BOOB TUBE” for the TV. That means it’s for dumb people. Okay, that’s fine, but TVs haven’t had any tubes in them for a bunch of years. Yes, I know if you have an ancient computer screen that weighs maybe forty pounds or a giant TV that weighs over 100 pounds, those probably have picture tubes in them. But any flat screen doesn’t work by tubes, does it? But “BOOB LED” doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? So let’s say Adios to “boob tube.”
4. LIKE A BROKEN RECORD: That means something keeps getting repeated the way an old scratched record would get stuck on the same note. But almost no one has records anymore. (And yes, I know Justin Timberlake has a vinyl version of his latest CD.) But why hasn’t that expression been replaced by “like a scratched CD”? I’ve heard CDs repeat a note over and over till it drives you nuts. Just the other day, I had one stick on the word “what.” It went “wha-wha-wha-wha-wha” for about 20 seconds till I could take out the CD and clean it. Luckily that worked or I might have gone batty. I’m just saying that old expression should go the way of the dinosaurs: extinct.
Here’s something I just thought of. I wonder how long it’ll be before CDs disappear. Oh, I know they won’t totally disappear, but already nobody carries around CDs anymore, do they? They’ll become like records. And record stores.
5. Speaking of music, why do they still call new releases “ALBUMS”? There haven’t been any albums for like 70 years or more. It took me forever to find a decent picture of one. Finally I got this photo at www.popscreen.com of a 4-record-album by Eddy Duchin, who made music in the 1930s. See all the records in there. (I had to look him up at Wikipedia ’cause I’d never heard of him.)
Back then, they could only fit about 5 or 10 minutes of music on each side of a record. So they had to have albums that looked like photo albums to hold all the records you needed for something that fits on a CD or a thumb drive now.
Anyway, that’s all I got for today. I guess it’s not any kind of humor post, but I hope it got you thinking.
From Your Dude with the ‘Tude
(who must not be in the happiest mood),