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Today I used the term "paperwork" for something that I'm 99% sure will be a PDF that I'll sign, scan, and email back. I'm sure soon (years?) I won't even need to sign and re-scan.

It made me think: Someday we'll have to explain to children that the term "paperwork" refers to paper forms that we used to use instead of e-Ink or video screens. Sort of like explaining that "tie the knot" refers to a tradition "from the old days".

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i still use the term "album". go fig

I can't help but think you're being a bit too optimistic if you think it'll take mere years before literal paperwork is gone. Heck, you guys are still using checks as the basis of your consumer banking system!

Also, I should probably introduce myself: I'm an old friend of syringavulgaris and I think she introduced us many years ago in NYC. Unless that was a different Tom.

How about those e-mail terms, "cc" and "bcc"?

I was just going to say that. I recently had to explain to someone (A PhD Candidate no less!) not only what cc: meant but what carbon paper is (was).

Boy, did I feel freakin' old.

Ringing phones (those 'ringing' ringtones sound so RETRO, don't they?), rolling up and down car windows...

our alleged paperless society seems to have created much more of a paper trail than what we have before, since people want a hard copy as well as a back-up.

maybe we're finally beginning to get past that point...

Can you even imagine trying to explain the expression "fold, spindle, and mutilate"?

If you're not in a financial sector that is... We print far more now than we used to. As far as I can tell, Sarbanes-Oxley was solely to provide the paper industry with clients.

The down or up side of an hour are a good pair, too.

How about red tape? That's been kicking around for how long now after it has ceased to refer to anything real?

Lots of things go away while the terms linger on ... but paper's been doing the opposite. For a couple of decades people kept predicting the death of "paper"work while the amount of physical paper involved grew and grew, to the point where now, one of the things young people weren't around for and need old people to tell them about, is all that hype about "the paperless office" from the 80s and 90s. Paper itself outlasted the hype.

That said, I did write a "white paper" this week entirely online.

Though I printed a copy for one of the people who needs to review it, and another for myself.

Edited at 2010-04-23 03:38 am (UTC)

"like a broken record"

"dial a phone"

"upper case" (of a typewriter)

These will soon be added to that folklore file that circulates that explains the origins of the "rule of thumb" and "threshold" and "June wedding."

The rule of thumb was that you couldn't beat your wife with a cane thicker than your thumb.

And I'm not convinced we're going paperless. As I read in Information Age back in 1985, "the paperless office is about as likely to happen as the paperless bathroom." Paper consumption is higher than it's ever been.

I *think* your intent in this comment is to give examples to illustrate & support what I said? It's not clear, because "and I'm not convinced ..." doesn't seem to follow, yet you continue to agree with what I said.

I was attempting to reply to the base (original) post, not yours.

With my tablet, I sign docs and just re-save and send. No need for scanning. What really gets me are all the terms I use that I have to explain to my students.

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