May 3, 2024 - Culture

ğŸ”Ž Fun with Columbus retronyms

A Columbus Crew player dribbles a soccer ball down the grass field.

Lower.com Field touts its "natural grass field," which was once simply called "grass." Photo: Jason Mowry/Getty Images

👋 Tyler here. A broadcaster's comment during the Crew game vs. CF Monterrey caught my attention.

  • He noted plans for a new field inside the Mexican stadium that would be a mix of artificial turf and "natural grass."

Zoom in: "Natural grass" … that's a funny phrase, isn't it?

  • For most of human history, it was simply called "grass" — until we invented AstroTurf and needed to start differentiating between the two.

The intrigue: This is a retronym, defined as a term "that is newly created and adopted to distinguish the original or older version."

  • Think "acoustic guitar" and "landline telephone." Back in the day, they were just guitars and telephones.
  • Some other local examples:

🃏 Hollywood Casino Columbus promotes its 34-table "live poker room." Before online poker came around, all poker was live.

🛍 Alissa and other readers eulogized shopping at "brick and mortar" stores, due to the rise in online shopping.

✏️ OSU has a manga collection featuring "traditional animation," a term derived from the advent of computer drawings.

ğŸŽµ WLVQ-FM plays a "classic rock" format. When those hits were released, they were just rock songs.

Can you think of any other local examples?

  • 🤔 Reply with your ideas.
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