Doing a little series pre-reading for our upcoming unit and came across this sentence, “You melted my computer disks!”
I can just imagine reading this aloud. The conversation would go something like this:
20 kids in unison: “What’s a computer disk?”
Me: Well, you know another word for it is “a floppy disk.”
Them: Blank stares.
Me: Magnetic disk?
Them: Blank stares.
Me: Never mind. So, in the “olden days” (aka. early to mid 90s) we had whole collections of them! You used them to save your writing on a computer (when you remembered of course) and if you were in the really olden days even to load up your programs to run things.
Them: So … like … blank stares.
Me: Don’t worry about it, let’s just finish this chapter and tomorrow I’ll tell you all about the rotary phone. Now that was something else!
Just an interesting reminder on how some words disappear from our lexicon when the meaning they are meant to convey is lost in time. Any fave words that aren’t used as commonly anymore? Or perhaps words you wish we would lose today? Please share!
March 19, 2018 at 9:31 pm
I love this! Yes, I come across this all of the time. One of my students just asked me if my siblings bugged me to watch Youtube on my laptop. He was very confused when I responded that when I was his age there were no computers in homes, no internet, and certainly no Youtube. Different times…
March 19, 2018 at 9:50 pm
Oh, I’ve had these moments many time with my 4th graders. (and my own children) The only one that comes to mind right now is a discussion about a pay phone. I also remember talking with my students about e-mail etiquette and telling them that I didn’t even start using e-mail until I was finishing college! I think the real challenge in this is that we are teaching skills to young students that we ourselves didn’t learn until we were adults!
March 19, 2018 at 10:29 pm
Reminds me of an incident a few years back, when “floppy disk” was a term in use. A flexible 45 record fell out of a book I’d picked up. My students responded, “That’s a strange looking floppy disk.” I attempted to explain records and record players… a couple students had grandparents who collected 45s. Might be fun to create a timeline with these words.
March 19, 2018 at 11:10 pm
Loved reading this post! I was just trying to explain to my students a few weeks ago what cassette tapes and record stores like “Sam Goody” were.
March 19, 2018 at 11:47 pm
Oh, I can completely imagine how well that went! I have a zip drive disk, a 3 1/4 floppy disk, a Palm IIIxe and a Palm Pilot color in my desk just for the nostalgia and occasional show and tell. My old 5 1/2 floppy did melt and I had to throw it away. Some of my younger colleagues were nearly as clueless as your students.
March 20, 2018 at 7:26 am
Just last week I was telling a colleague I want to get a “book on tape” for an upcoming trip. They found that funny. I was corrected- “you mean an audiobook?”
March 20, 2018 at 8:58 am
I keep messing up “book on tape” too – which is weird because I mostly didn’t use them. Go figure. My kids are fascinated by “telephone cord” – they cannot fathom being tethered while they talk. And I was just trying to explain how a typewriter worked – actual metal letters on the end of metal rods moved out and hit the paper. They were incredulous! Love this slice- it’s making me think of many things.