‘Beep me’ and ‘Roll down the window’: The 20 phrases that have gone extinct due to modern


I’m sure you remember this: ‘You hang up first.’ ‘No, you hang up first.’ 

It’s not quite as romantic when you fumble for the end call button on your smartphone, eh? 

As times change and our tech changes, so do the phrases we use.

Let’s take a little trip down nostalgia lane, something different in our quest for the ultimate tech know-how. 

See how many you’ve said at least a few times in your life.

● Roll down the window: Cars have had automatic windows for ages, making the manual ‘rolling down’ a thing of the past. I still say this, though, in my 1964 Mustang.

● Check the answering machine: Voicemail on cell phones has obliterated the need for a physical answering machine. I think it’s super interesting that Apple’s iOS 17 lets you listen while someone leaves a voicemail so you can decide to pick up. New? Hardly.

● Dial 411: My mother helped design the 411 directory system for Bell Labs. Now, just look someone up online, and you have their digits.

● Beep me: Pagers were all the rage once upon a time. Now, they’re almost exclusively used in healthcare or other specific industries.

● I’ll tape it: You no longer ‘tape’ shows with DVR and streaming services.  You just hit record on your device or catch it later on-demand.

Beep me: Pagers were all the rage once upon a time. Now, they're almost exclusively used in healthcare or other specific industries

Beep me: Pagers were all the rage once upon a time. Now, they’re almost exclusively used in healthcare or other specific industries

Rewind/Fast-forward: It made perfect sense for cassettes and VHS tapes. Sure, we still use them metaphorically, but you're not actually winding anything

Rewind/Fast-forward: It made perfect sense for cassettes and VHS tapes. Sure, we still use them metaphorically, but you’re not actually winding anything

● Rewind/Fast-forward: It made perfect sense for cassettes and VHS tapes. Sure, we still use them metaphorically, but you’re not actually winding anything.

● Find a payphone: With a cell phone in nearly every pocket, payphones have become an urban relic.

● Get the film developed or Don’t waste the film: Oh, the good old days of waiting for days to see a picture you looked horrible in. Digital cameras and smartphones have done away with this.

● Look it up in the White or Yellow Pages: Online directories have replaced those hefty books.

● I’ll fax it to you: Fax machines are almost dead.

● Drop a coin in the jukebox: Before Spotify and Apple Music, we had to pay to play our favorite songs at diners and bars with these music machines. Can you imagine explaining to a Gen Z-er that you physically picked a song and waited for it to play?

● Burn a CD: At some point, burning CDs was the ultimate mixtape gift. With cloud sharing and playlists, the art of burning a mix for someone is becoming ancient history.

I'll fax it to you: Fax machines are almost dead

I’ll fax it to you: Fax machines are almost dead

Burn a CD: At some point, burning CDs was the ultimate mixtape gift. With cloud sharing and playlists, the art of burning a mix for someone is becoming ancient history

Burn a CD: At some point, burning CDs was the ultimate mixtape gift. With cloud sharing and playlists, the art of burning a mix for someone is becoming ancient history

Dial-up tone: Kids today won't understand the agony of waiting for a connection only to get disconnected because someone picked up the phone

Dial-up tone: Kids today won’t understand the agony of waiting for a connection only to get disconnected because someone picked up the phone

● Turn the channel knob: Some of us remember when changing the channel meant getting off the couch! No remote, just a clicky round dial.

● You’ve got mail: AOL’s iconic phrase indicates someone sent you an email. But with the countless notifications we receive daily, such an announcement would be an annoyance.

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● Save it on a floppy: These disks didn’t even hold a single song by today’s standards. And now? We’ve got terabytes in our pockets.

● Dial-up tone: Kids today won’t understand the agony of waiting for a connection only to get disconnected because someone picked up the phone.

● Hit the pound key: It’s all about the hashtag now.

● I need new batteries for my Walkman: The precursor to the iPod, this device was a game-changer for music lovers. Now, we charge our devices instead of replacing batteries.

● Remember to defrag your computer: It used to be a regular ritual to keep your PC running smoothly. With advancements in technology, such maintenance is mostly automated.

● Put the antenna up: Whether it was the rabbit ears on top of the TV or a telescoping antenna on a boombox, positioning was everything. Remember the days of trying to hold it just right to get that clear picture or signal? Classic!

I bet there are kids and even 20-somethings in your life who would be totally stumped by these phrases. 

That makes me think about what phrases we use now that will someday be a thing of the past. ‘Drop me a pin,’ ‘Swipe left’ and ‘Tap to pay’ come to mind.

Did You Know? The Origins of ‘CC’ and ‘BCC’ in Emails

When you’re shooting off emails, you’ve likely used the ‘CC’ (carbon copy) or ‘BCC’ (blind carbon copy) fields. But did you ever stop to think about their origins? These terms hail from the age of typewriters.

When someone wanted to make an exact duplicate of a typed document, they’d slip in a sheet of carbon paper between two sheets of regular paper. The pressure from typing transferred ink from the carbon sheet to the second sheet, creating a ‘carbon copy.’



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