Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Retronymy: William Safire - On Language - New York Times

William Safire - On Language - New York Times

When we all first began exploring the wonders of retronymy decades ago, the image of the comedian Sid Caesar appeared on the tiny TV screen, playing an anachronistic doughboy in uniform and tin helmet celebrating the Armistice, shouting in glee, “World War I is over!”
And I found it via this post on Language Hat, about machine translation vs. translation done by an "actual human":

As opposed to ... an intelligent entity that's not an actual human? As we approach the singularity, or whatever, will "human" join the list of retronyms — words that need an adjective for clarity, like analog watch, acoustic guitar, hardcover books, standard transmission?
(comment by Martin)

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