For those of us born before the end of World War II, i.e. those now around 66 or older, a new list of words with all sorts of meanings has evolved since the advent of the computer age around 30 years ago.
When Alan Sugar produced Amstrad computers, I bought one in 1987, used it only as a word processor and learnt to type and print letters or reports to those concerned.
When, in 1999, I finally retired at 65, the Amstrad had “broken” (once more) and it went into a rubbish container here in Portugal!
Although still able to type and having even typed messages for emailing on other people’s computers, I have made the decision NOT to become involved in this new age of ever increasing gismos and gadgets, which seems to expand every week and is taking over and intruding into our present every-day lives.
If people who had passed on prior to this wondrous and, according to may, essential element of the 21st century, were to be brought back to see and hear all the new products and words used for them, imagine their CONFUSION:
• An apple was for eating, now it is also a computer company which has some connection with Facebook!
• To Twitter or tweet would have only been for the birds in their lifetimes.
• To download something onto an MP3 or ipod or ipad would have been meaningless to them.
• Kindling was for fires!
• www.Com would have been thought to be a new World War with Communism
• An Internet some international spy ring.
• A laptop would have been something to do with an exotic dancer on a table!
• Gobbling was only for babies.
• A website was a spider’s home.
Well, I’ll be blogged!
Would somebody please compile a new dictionary explaining what all these new names for products really mean? In English!
JOHN OXENHAM, Lagos
Editor’s note: Thank you John. We all enjoyed reading your beautifully hand-written letter. Please keep them coming – we are fast typists!