We are not going to stop using metaphors any time soon. However, there are some metaphors that have lost or are losing their meaning over time.
Do you remember my questions about whether “slow as a glacier” was an apt metaphor anymore considering global warming? It’s not the only endangered metaphor. Consider the following:
the color will telegraph through the surface
Maybe “telegraph” will be eventually replaced with “wirelessly signaled.” Although it just doesn’t sound as good. But there are entire words that have become arcane. For example,
Sure, we know what it means, but how many of us remember ditto machines or school worksheets in that gloppy purple font? But there are more basic words that could disappear from our vocabulary.
Whom have you dialed recently? Radios don’t even have dials anymore. I guess the word “dial” will soon be replaced by the word “scroll,” which of course is hilarious because it refers to a kind of manuscript that is quite a bit older than the telephone.
What words will you miss?