[Ads-l] Obsolete term: "gas pedal" in an electric car =?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=93_?=alternatives "potentiometer" or "accelerator"

Mark Mandel markamandel at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 27 03:47:15 UTC 2019

Indeed. Good analysis, Garson.


On Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 9:11 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>

> Mark Mandel (MAM) wrote:
> > Well, we still call the panel in front of the driver a "dashboard", even
> > though it no longer is
> >
> >  A panel at the front of a horse-drawn vehicle that projects up to
> protect
> > the riders from mud, water, or snow kicked up by the horse or horses.
> >
> > https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=dashboard
> Excellent example and good point, MAM. Here is another example, I think.
> The word "pen" is still in use, and it is even used for an electronic
> stylus. Yet, the Online Etymology Dictionary says "pen" is derived
> from: late 13c., from Old French pene "quill pen; feather" (12c.) and
> directly from Latin penna "a feather, plume," …
> https://www.etymonline.com/word/pen
> Perhaps the etymologies of "pen" and "dashboard" became sufficiently
> opaque that their semantics shifted without major resistance. I
> suspect that the meaning of "gas" in "gas pedal" is  still relatively
> transparent. Hence, it will be more difficult for the semantics to
> shift to include the accelerator pedal of an electric car.
> Garson

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list