Even though I know what it is, and what its purpose was, I can honestly say that I never had to use one. They were part and parcel of my parents old-timey record collection.
Heh. Kids today, eh? They haven’t lived. The amount of useless stuff that they just won’t ever know or understand is mounting furiously. They may pull out your old v.90 MODEM and ask, “What on Earth is this? Is it a telephone?!”
But when it comes to terminology, some things just refuse to die…
A dashboard, for instance, is not that piece of plastic that stretches across the front of the car behind the steering wheel, where you store your collection of parking tickets and assorted crap. It is actually from a bygone ere when horse and buggy was the common means of transportation. The dashboard was a piece of wood put up as a shield to protect your face and clothes when the horse took off running and its feet started slinging (or dashing) mud up at you.
So, I wonder what terminology that we take for granted will be passed down without thought as to its original meaning. I mean, we use a lot of expressions that we don’t truly understand. That doesn’t stop us from understanding the context of the expression, but most people can’t explain the origin.
But then, there are some things that just need to go away. They belong to the past, and only made sense then. Now, they’re just a pain in the neck. Checks (or even cheques, if you prefer), are one item that comes to mind. I mean, here we are with technology being bent to handle a financial transaction in the form of a piece of paper. Why bother at all? (I’m sure somebody knows why, and would just love to explain it to me!)
On the plus side, though, technology has already made some things go away. Things that were never fun — like waiting for your photographs to be developed, for instance. Our kids will never know what photo development is, and they may even laugh at the mere notion. How silly? Physically taking (or sending) something away to be converted into something else that you pick up (or have mailed back to you).
And almost on a daily basis, there are other acts that are fast becoming a thing of the past. One day, your kids will look at you in disbelief if you talk about having to leave the house to rent a movie. (“You’re crazy!”) They will be beside themselves with laughter if you dare to mention that an encyclopedia was an actual physical book… with pages… printed on paper! (“It must have been a nightmare!”)
How long will it be before the humble action of writing will be abandoned. It’s already starting to die out. I think I can go for months at a time without ever needing to write anything on paper. And heaven help you should you make mention as to what a typewriter was once used for. And if you still own one… you risk being called a relic yourself!
Here are some more things that I can think of in a pinch:
1. Toy guns
2. Candy cigarettes
3. Going to the bank
4. Floppy diskettes
5. Compact cassettes
And, quite possibly, I could add one more item to that list (at serious risk to my health)… the original Star Wars Trilogy!?