I grew up as part of the print generation. Dictionaries, encyclopedias and atlases were our primary sources of information but all that changed with the advent of the internet. Now all we have to do is google!
Old habits die hard however. When my niece phoned in a state of panic on Sunday evening to tell me that her younger sister had just been diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and was being transported to Edmonton by ambulance, I knew nothing about the illness other than the obvious fact that it had something to do with her pancreas. Without thinking, I grabbed a dictionary. Only when I couldn’t find the word there did I think to turn to Google. Within minutes I was reading detailed information about causes, symptoms and treatment.
I absolutely love having a world of information at my fingertips. Whether I’m looking for a business address or the answer to a trivia question, I can almost always find it by googling. Yesterday, when the student that I tutor couldn’t find his copy of the periodic table, I googled it and printed off a new one for him.
Recently I’ve been planning our upcoming summer vacation. When I wondered how long it would take to drive from Moab, Utah to Olathe, Kansas my first instinct was to spread out the maps and start figuring. It didn’t take me long to realize how foolish that was and to resort to using Google Maps instead. Within moments, I was presented with the choice of three different routes each complete with mileage, estimated driving time and step by step details!
Google even speaks 57 different languages! I often use Google Translate to try to figure out the meaning of comments that my Japanese friends post on Facebook. The quality of the translation is often rather dubious and once in awhile it’s so garbled that it’s just plain funny but most of the time, I get the jist of what’s being said.
I knew I’d really outgrown my print generation roots when we decided not to get a daily newspaper anymore. Instead I read the news online, depending on Google News as my main source.
Yes, the world is changing and so is our language. Not only can I not find pancreatitis in the trusty old dictionary that’s been around since college days but it doesn’t have internet either and it most certainly doesn’t include google, googled or googling!