Hard line

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Fri Jul 5 19:05:32 UTC 2002

On Fri, 5 Jul 2002, James A. Landau wrote:

#faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU writes:
#> the delay in getting to his "hard
#>  line", in a context where it was clearly opposed to cell phone. Is this a
#>  locution that others have encountered?
#I haven't heard this specific usage, but as long as I have been in the
#computer business (since 1965) "hard" and "soft" have always been used as
#antonyms, with "hard" meaning or implying permanence, and "soft" meaning or
#implying "temporary, easy to modify".

The term "hard copy" means a physical, handleable paper copy of an
electronic document. In this context plain "copy", as in "I'll send you
a copy", usually means an electronic copy, e.g., as an email attachment.
I haven't heard the expected counterpart "soft copy". This could count
as a retronym.

I sometimes similarly use "hard mail" in opposition to "email", as a
noun. AFAIK it's always been understood without difficulty, but I have
not heard/seen anyone else using it.

-- Mark A. Mandel

More information about the Ads-l mailing list