Transformation and Manifestation of Analog Terminology in Online Spaces

Computers widen the arc of actions accessible to humans. A quick overview of all of the actions that we can do with computers is summed up quite nicely in the lyrics of Daft Punk’s Technologic.

Buy it, use it, break it, fix it,
trash it, change it, melt – upgrade it,
charge it, pawn it, zoom it, press it,
snap it, work it, quick – erase it,
write it, get it, paste it, save it,
load it, check it, quick – rewrite it,
plug it, play it, burn it, rip it,
drag and drop it, zip – unzip it,
lock it, fill it, curl it, find it,
view it, curl it, jam – unlock it,
surf it, scroll it, pose it, click it,
cross it, crack it, twitch – update it,
name it, read it, tune it, print it,
scan it, send it, fax – rename it,
touch it, bring it, obey it, watch it,
turn it, leave it, stop – format it.

But a lot of the words aren’t strange, like we might expect future terminology to be. Instead, normal actions have been carried into the online term economy, becoming standards of data labeling. Trashing something actually means throwing it into the digital representation of a trash can. Unzipping a file makes one think of a zipper.

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