"virtual reality" loosening

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Sun May 25 19:30:33 UTC 2008

I read the following in a photo caption in today's Toronto Star
(A8-A9): "Composite photo is comprised of four images assembled to
create a 360-degree virtual reality."

I'm not used to this use of "virtual reality" -- and, I must say, it
sounds rather silly to me. Among other things, 360-degree panorama in
a straight line actually looks somewhat less like what you'll
actually see due to the distortions at the closest points and the
fact that you can shift view 180 degrees by merely flicking your eyes
about five degrees over (depending on how much of your fied of vision
the picture occupies). But I expect that we will see more of this
looser use of the term -- it's too catchy not to become something of
a shiny toy.

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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