My New iPad

Content highlights:

  • The word “laser” was too new to appear in this dictionary.
  • The list of U.S. Presidents ends with Dwight Eisenhower (there’s no Instagram filter for that).

All in all it’s 2,500+ pages of musty, mildewed ecstasy.

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8 Responses to My New iPad

  1. Kenneth Goodenough says:

    Might it be that laser is not included because it’s technically an acronym?


    • Sean says:

      This dictionary was published in 1958, and a quick search online turned up that the term “laser” was first published in 1959 (by Gordon Gould). This alone would preclude it from being in this particular (unabridged) dictionary, but being an acronym shouldn’t be a problem though—for example “radar” and “scuba” are both acronyms.

      “FLAK” is another word used in English despite being a German acronym (Fliegerabwehrkanone), though it’s sometimes Anglicized as “flack”. It’s interesting how so many acronyms-cum-words originate in the military.


  2. Matthias says:

    Your new iPad is even interactive (fill in future dates yourself), despite not relying on batteries…


    • Sean says:

      If only they had left a blank page for the future presidents — then it would have been the epitome of reverse-obsolescence!

      I have to say though that I’m probably going to get some funny looks at Starbucks, and, for the life of me I can’t find the USB port.

      PS: Anyone want to bet that I won’t bring this thing to a Starbucks? 🙂


  3. Gunther says:

    What a gem!


  4. Sean says:

    [Added] Comment from a friend: Now that’s wireless.


  5. Stefan Hagemann says:

    Great photo and post, Sean. The joke about it being an IPad reminded me of a YouTube clip about tech support for book users that I think you’ll like (though perhaps everyone has seen it already):

    (A few years ago, a textbook salesperson was trying to get our department to try the new web site for their new handbook, and I asked the Neil Postman-inspired question, “what problem is this a solution to?” The above link was waiting for me when I next checked my e-mail.)


    • Sean says:

      Thanks, Stefan. And thanks for the link too — I hadn’t seen that yet.

      The very last thing I am is anti-tech, especially so when it comes to music technology. But the influx of cloud-based computing (vis-à-vis content for education-related textbooks) and tablet hardware has me asking the same question you mentioned: “what problem is this a solution to”?

      In an effort to save students some money, I not only decided one year to not order the updated, standard sight-singing text, but I reverted to a book from the 1920s which is now in the public domain (and free), which could be completely printed out by students (whose cost was covered by their student fees to begin with). It’s not that the current text was bad in any way except for the ridiculous, exorbitant pricing. But, there was also nothing wrong with the older text either; still the same notes.

      iPads and all that are great, and classroom technology is important too. But I can’t help the gratifying and liberating feeling that also comes from knowing that the entire musical universe is available to everyone and anyone, for the most part requiring nothing more than a pencil, some paper, and a sense of intellectual curiosity.


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