Back in 2011, CNET ran a headline that said, “Galaxy Nexus: Android Ice Cream Sandwich guinea pig.” Believe it or not, the word “android” was used as far back as 1728, and ice cream sandwiches go back more than 100 years. So while the typical adult from the year 1964 may have understood the individual definitions of every word in CNET’s headline, put together they would have come across as complete gobbledygook.
Yet, if you had told your reasonably tech-savvy 10-year-old nephew in 2011, “Hey, the Galaxy Nexus looks like it’s going to be the Android Ice Cream Sandwich guinea pig,” he probably would have rolled his eyes at you, because he had known about it for months.
Technology has not only changed our physical world, but it’s changed our language too. Here are 10 sentences that make sense today, but if you were transported back in time to, say, Don Draper’s office on Mad Men, everyone would have immediately pegged you as unbalanced (or high).
“Pfft, Ice Cream Sandwich might as well be DOS 2.0.”
1. “Let me back this picture up to the cloud in case I accidentally delete it.”
Anyone old enough to have used film cameras has “deleted” unflattering pictures by destroying negatives, but it certainly wasn’t called that then. And “backing up” pictures back in the day was a matter of checking the box on the envelope indicating that you wanted extra prints made.
2. “My mouse is broken.”
Half a century ago, you might envision this sentence being uttered by an inconsolable child, yet it’s not at all uncommon to hear adults say it today, often followed by, “I tried banging it on my desk repeatedly, but it didn’t help.”
3. “Google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about.”
A professor might say this to a roomful of undergrads, or a smart-mouthed older sibling may direct it at a younger one. But had you said it to one of the Apollo 11 astronauts right after they walked on the moon, they probably would have assumed you had taken leave of your senses.
3. “Do you have Angry Birds on your phone?”
Imagine you’ve somehow been transported to the starship Enterprise in the 1960s version of Star Trek. None of the brilliant minds that made up the crew (human or human-Vulcan) would have had the first clue what you were talking about.
5. “All my documents are frozen.”
Your grandmother may have been the most brilliant office manager of the most cutting edge company of 1965, overseeing dozens of typists and clerks, but you can bet your last dime that she neither uttered nor heard this sentence during her career.
6. “Don’t click on that; you’ll just get Rick-rolled.”
It’s just possible that this could still cause confusion among the over-70 generation. If you had said it to your algebra teacher in 1981, on the day “The Computer” was wheeled into the classroom for a demonstration of how fast it could extract a square root, you might have got detention for it.
7. “Tablets are replacing textbooks.”
Uttering this sentence at any time from, oh, the invention of the printing press until sometime after the iPad was released in 2010 would have immediately labeled you as either a Luddite, or hopelessly backwards.
8. “Don’t take a bite of that sandwich! I need to Instagram it first.”
Actually, this sentence sounds rather ridiculous today.
9. “He’s not allowed to connect to the network with that jailbroken phone.”
Imagine explaining this to a 1960s-era switchboard operator. Someone didn’t like the restraints their chosen phone company placed on the unimaginably advanced device they call a phone, so they installed software on it to break open the phone’s file system so they could modify it. And now they’re not allowed to use it to access company data.
10. “Try deleting your cookies and logging back in.”
Cookies have been rapidly “deleted” ever since they were invented, but what on earth could that have to do with “logging in?” And furthermore, what is “logging in?”
In your day-to-day job on the IT service desk, you probably deal with language ranging from, “My password was rejected,” to “LOL WUT” to things that probably shouldn’t be printed. But one thing you can count on is that Samanage will always speak your language, giving you the tools you need to keep track of all your organization’s IT infrastructure, and to keep it running optimally.
About Matt Shanklin
Read more articles by Matt