Pre-Archaic Industrial Jargon

Ronald Butters ronbutters at AOL.COM
Mon Mar 12 15:07:15 UTC 2012

So an address book is still an address book; all that is different is how the information in it is stored.

It seems misleading to say that Amazon is attempting to "shift the semantics of the term "book"--they are just responding to the subreption that has already taken place. Remember that a book was once far different from the bound volumes that the term came to be used for in the modern era. (And, for my grandfather, a magazine was also a book, though that seems somewhat anachronistic to me today.)
An "album" of musical recordings downloaded to an iPod is still an "album," even if it is not a thing made of vinyl. On the other hand, referring to it as a "record" seems as anachronistic as it would be to refer to a computer as a typewriter.

On Mar 12, 2012, at 10:20 AM, Garson O'Toole wrote:

> I think "address book" has been redefined by some users to correspond
> to an electronic database of addresses and other information. This
> switch began years ago. Perhaps it was triggered by the "address book"
> designation used in email programs.
> The advertising copy at for the Kindle reader attempts to
> shift the semantics of the term "book" so that it refers to what was
> recently called an "electronic book", "e-book", or "ebook". More
> precisely, the text attempts to shift the definition of "book" so that
> it corresponds to a proprietary Kindle-formatted electronic book.

The American Dialect Society -

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