Retronym

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A retronym is a new word or phrase coined for an old object or concept whose original name became used for something else. A lot of these are created by advances in technology. Some examples:

  • Black-and-white television: Once called simply television, now the retronym is used to distinguish it from color television, which is now more commonly referred to by the unadorned term. Along the same lines: broadcast television, silent movie.
  • Rotary-dial telephone: The kind of telephone in common use before touch-tone telephones.
  • Live poker: What casinos call the kind of poker played with cards by people sitting at a table; what many others still just call "poker". The term became necessary to distinguish it from video poker, which is far more common in casinos today.
  • Day baseball: Baseball played during the day, as all games were played before electric lighting in stadiums became common.
  • Snail mail or Paper mail: Non-electronic mail; the kind printed and delivered to your house.
  • Meatspace: All of physical reality, as distinguished from cyberspace.
  • Natural language: A language, used by humans, that evolved naturally in its society. Contrast with computer programming languages or artificial languages.
  • Brick-and-mortar store: A store with a building that customers can visit to examine its goods (which others might purchase at an online store).
  • Face-to-face conference: A conference, not involving telephones or video cameras.

Some larger groupings include:

  • Conventional or Traditional X: For example, conventional (non-microwave) oven.
  • Analog X: Non-digital devices: analog clock, analog recording.
  • Acoustic X: A musical instrument that produces human-audible sounds, without amplifier: acoustic guitar, acoustic piano.