• Last modified 847 days ago (Jan. 22, 2020)


Another Day in the Country

The volcabulary has changed

© Another Day in the Country

There are quite a few new words added to the dictionary every year as new words are coined — mostly because of burgeoning technology.

Then, it seems, so many of the words that have been around for at least a couple hundred years are not used as frequently.

Conversation has deteriorated to catch phrases, memes, expletives, sentences without the proper number of nouns or adjectives for clarity, and no punctuation.

Available commodities are also changing.

My sister went shopping at the office supply store for a Rolodex, and the young clerk looked at her as if she were speaking a foreign language. He had no idea what she was talking about, let alone why she needed it.

Jess was distraught.

“Where do people keep the names and addresses of business contacts if they don’t have a Rolodex,” she fumed, but then she laughed and answered her own question. “On their phones.”

The phone has replaced so many things. You can buy things, do your banking, talk to your friends, send emails, take pictures, keep track of appointments, check your heart rate, clock the number of steps you’ve walked (if you have one of those fancy wrist watches, which are supposed to make you healthy), use it for a calculator, play games on it to amuse yourself while you wait, and even use that phone as a flashlight.

I’m sure there are more things it can do that I don’t know about or haven’t figured out.

Electric typewriters were another thing that was brand new during my lifetime and are now a “thing of the past,” having lost out to the computer.

Unfortunately, there are still forms that need to be filled out and printed in triplicate — the old fashioned way — and that means places of business still need access to a typewriter, on occasion, but they are antiquated.

It’s like film cameras — another thing of the past — tape recorders, record players, and carbon paper.

This and more written off as out-dated, no longer needed.

I’m also outdated! I do try to stay current, and get all the updates my system can tolerate, but my brain — my platform — is still old school.

Of all silly things, I have persisted in learning how to play Minecraft with my grandson.

I join with him on his world and actually enjoy building castles while he, in his much more advanced state, builds transportation systems and finds new ways to blow things up!

Clayton got Minecraft on his mother’s old phone and proceeded to teach himself to play the game just poking and punching things at random.

He asked me to help him create a dog in his world the other day, and I was aghast when I discovered the world this six-year-old was playing in was “Survival Mode,” which is the hardest, most difficult version.

“Oh, you want to be in creative mode,” I told him, feeling very skillful and accomplished, at least, in comparison to this little beginner.

I was so pleased that I could help him, with the flick of a switch, to have an easier time of building things and then we ran into a snag and I said, “Let’s Facetime Dagfinnr and ask him how to do this.”

What a sight to behold: an 80 year old and a first grader sitting on the couch talking to a teenager.

Dagfinnr spewed out instructions and I said, “Woah! Go slower and talk in English! Make it simple!”

“Slow down, simplify,” is my default setting these days.

There’s another word that’s changed.

“Default” in my day meant that you failed in meeting a financial obligation. Now, it means, “going back to the original setting,” not “bankruptcy.”

Bankruptcy has probably taken on new meaning too over the years, as in “an easy way to keep your money!”

“Repetition” still means the same thing after all these years. As far as I know, there are no new meanings.

One of the reasons I say the same thing repeatedly at the end of the column is so that you know you are getting close to the end of our time together when I say, “Well, it’s another day in the country…”

Last modified Jan. 22, 2020