One of the dangers of aging is losing touch with modern language. We bought an electric car last week (Bear with me; it all ties together). Robot Guy’s old car was dying, and we knew we had to replace it. Since we installed solar panels, electric made the most sense. It’s a pretty little thing–metallic blue with black accents, and it’s perfect for his commute to work. So what about language? Well, as the car genius was taking us through the functions of the car he said, “XXX (something; I don’t remember; I am so not made for complicated gadgets.) won’t work unless the gas pedal is pressed down.” He paused and said, “I guess it’s not a gas pedal, is it?” Granted English has another word for it, accelerator, but who uses that word? But it’s no longer a gas pedal either. I guess accelerator will have to become de rigueur.

There are lots of changes happening in language because of the rapid acceleration (there’s that word again) of technology. I had to revise a book before publishing it because when I wrote it a few years ago, I had the hero place a CD in his car for music. Revised version? He engaged the bluetooth and played the song from his phone. A record skip no longer exists, nor can we slam down the phone. We don’t rent movies; we stream them (I admit I still get Netflix to send DVDs, and I still have a machine that plays VHS tapes). How long have we googled things? And the only time you need a fax machine these days is when you’re dealing with some kind of bureaucracy (Something I had to acquire because I have to deal with one regularly). “They” is now accepted as a singular pronoun, and I applaud it in the use of the LGBTQ community (and others, but if you use it in an academic essay, I will look down on you).

I think this looks sci-fiy.(Yes, I made up that word. Shakespeare did it all the time.)

I actually find it exciting to witness the changes. Language is fluid, especially English, and it’s part of the reason for my hypothesis that English is a simple language to be understood in, but almost impossible to master. Who knows how language will change in the future, but I for one will look forward to learning it. Gotta keep up my reputation as a language master. (Yes, “gotta” was on purpose.)


Books I’m reading now:

Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

2 thoughts on “Anachronism

  1. Judy

    Funny, I remember way back in junior high discussing the need for a non-gender specific singular pronoun. I didn’t realize ” they” had become the accepted one. We tried alternating he and then she or we used he/she. Both were awkward. Still wish there was a better one than they. That is not singular! Oh, well. Nice blog!

  2. Duchess of Gadsden

    I keep on wanting to write a time travel story in which someone goes from 2017 to about 1988. No internet to speak of. No Google. No cell phones at all, let alone “smart” ones. And so on. I’d have the character constantly complaining about everything that’s missing.
    That’s it. No plot to speak of, but when I write I’m genuinely terrible at plots, so it would be very recognizable as a story of mine. 🙂

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