At the risk of sounding ungrateful for my job, I really like vacations. Really. I don’t even have to go anywhere. Staying home is fine. I just like vacations from my job. And they are few and far between. Too few. And too far between. So, I eagerly count down the weeks and days until my next one.
And the next one is here. Yay! To make it even better, my wife is also on vacation this week. We thought we’d time off at the same time since it’s our anniversary. As of Tuesday, we will have been married thirty years.
Thirty years. Three decades. 1560 weeks. Or, 10,958 days. Any way you look at it, it is a long time. Not that I’m complaining. I like being married to her.
Thirty years. If we’d purchased a house on our wedding day, it would be paid off now. But we were a little busy—with the wedding and all—so we waited a while before buying a house. Then, we sold that one and bought another. All that means is we still have a ways to go before it is paid off. But that’s good, I suppose. More payments requires more going to work. And that means more vacations. See? Good, in a weird sort of way.
But back to my point, thirty years. A lot has changed in that amount of time. For instance, the language. Words, and a lot of them, have morphed into new meanings, thanks mostly to computers. And yes, I do have a few examples.
Thirty years ago, if we were searching for something, it meant we were physically digging through drawers, cabinets, or boxes and actually looking for said item. And speaking of searching, google was still just a part of a larger word; googolplex—the number represented by a 1 followed by 10100 zeroes—the largest (named) number.
And there’s more. A browser was someone who wandered aimlessly through a store, looking but probably not buying. Memory still referred to a function of the human brain that allowed us to recall facts or events (and sometimes to the strange properties of some metals to return to their previous shape). An icon was an object or picture that represented something esteemed as virtuous. These days an icon is a tiny picture on a screen that you click on to open a program or app, many of which, though I would not describe as bad necessarily, are not all that virtuous.
A desktop was, well, the top of a desk. A flat screen was a cloth screen used for projecting slides or home videos, which were 8mm film. And clouds were still those large puffy things in the sky that blocked the sunshine and sometimes produced rain—not a term that referred to storage. And there’s another word, storage. Thirty years ago, if someone asked you how much storage you had, they probably wanted to leave something in your garage. They were certainly not talking about devices like CD’s, SD cards, or thumbdrives, and definitely not talking about a cloud.
I could go on. I made a list of over one hundred terms that have changed meanings in the last three decades; mouse, tablet, cell, surf, text, web, you get the picture I think.
Thirty years ago, we didn’t have cell phones or iPads and the like. And although computers did exist in 1987, almost no one had one. Which wasn’t really a problem. There wasn’t much to do with a computer in those days since Al Gore hadn’t invented the Internet yet. Besides, most people, like my wife and I, would have never been able to afford a computer. Not with a minimum wage of 3.35/hour, which in case anyone is wondering, produced a net income of about $120 per week. Not much, but then we didn’t need a lot of money back then. A gallon of gas was about .60, a candy bar was .25, and you could get a large pizza from Dominos for 4 bucks. I can’t imagine trying to pay for a $600 iPhone! Wouldn’t have been much time, or money, left for vacation.
Oh, there’s also a new word that’s been coined in recent years—blog. And now that I’ve posted to this one it’s time to head for the airport to fly away. Hey, I never said I ALWAYS stay home for vacation! ~
Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.
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