Thinking the other day about telephone terms still in use that are essentially out of date or no longer mean what was originally intended. For some reason, there seem to be a recognizable set associated with the telecommunications world:
1) Dial (n) - the round thing with holes in it that used to spin around when you stuck your finger in it and moved it around its center point. Today, some novelty phones have simlated dials with touch-tone buttons where the holes should be. ("There is no 'x' on the dial")
2) Dial (v) - the action of coding a sequence of numbers by sticking your finger in a dial (n) and spinning it around. ("I am going to dial the telephone number you gave me.")
3) Area code (n) - A three-digit number indicating the geographic origination point of a telephone network connection. ("212 is the area code for New York City").
4) Ring (v) - the sounding of a bell triggered by an electronic pulse coming through the wires indicating that a connection is being attempted.
With new IP voice services that use your computer's microphone and head set interfaces, the concept of a connection address being called a "telephone number" is even suspect.
This makes me wonder a little more: I use these terms because that was what I learned when I first used these machines, but as the technology changes, does the lingo remain the same because of ubiquity, or will it eventually die out after a few generations when someone realizes those terms are meaningless within the technical context?
Posted June 7, 2007 6:52 PM
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