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I'm wondering if there is a name for words which describe a function where the thing described doesn't relate to the reality of the function anymore. Examples:

  • dial, as a verb. "Dial the phone". Dial phones are largely unused now.

  • footage, used to describe a video recording. Large digital now.

  • filming, used to describe the act of making a video recording.

This is almost like a retronym, but is kind of the other side of that coin.

Any ideas?

This might be a duplicate of Word that means "outdated name"

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I don’t think there is an actual word for this, so a neologism may be called for. How about ‘obsolonym’ or ‘obsoletonym’ (or perhaps even ‘obsolesconym’, though I guess that would be the preceding stage where the word used is in the process of becoming divorced from what it describes). –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 8 '13 at 20:15
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This is a related post, and the answer to that question was holdovers: english.stackexchange.com/q/72520/18655 –  JLG Nov 8 '13 at 23:33
    
Hmm, that's a pretty good entry. Perhaps this ought to be considered a duplicate of that. –  Hack Saw Nov 9 '13 at 1:56
    
@Janus Bahs Jacquet How would you form the adjective? Would it mean that I shall shortly be reading my obsolonistic newspaper from my Kindle? Or, since it is only the 'paper' part which is thus, will it be my 'news-obsolonistic-paper'? Or should I call it my 'newsdigital'? In view of the fact that I shall be breaking my fast, when I have not consciously fasted, at the same time, does any of this have any place, other than in the etymology entries in dictionaries? –  WS2 Nov 9 '13 at 7:55
    
@WS2: As with all other nouns in -nym, I'd form the adjective in -nymic. I think you are misunderstanding the question—nobody is saying that the word should be used as part of the name itself. You would still simply be reading your book or newspaper on your Kindle. But calling the thing you read on your Kindle a news-paper would be obsolonymic/an obsolonym (etc.), just like talking about Nero’s tennis shoes would be an anachronism. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 9 '13 at 19:42

2 Answers 2

I think that the word you are looking for is "anachronism".

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But it is only an aspect of the particular technology which is anachronistic. Telephones are still very much with us, as is movie photography. It is only in the way we describe making a call, or operating a video camera that we employ an 'anachcronistic expression'. So I think at the very least we would need to use those two words. But other possibilities exist - see below. –  WS2 Nov 8 '13 at 21:04
    
I think one would have to be over-fastidious not to allow Bob's answer from a fair consideration of M-W's various definitions: anach·ro·nism noun \ə-ˈna-krə-ˌni-zəm\ : some thing (such as a word, an object, or an event) that is mistakenly placed in a time where it does not belong in a story, movie, etc. // : a person or a thing that seems to belong to the past and not to fit in the present [bolding mine; something one word in M-W] –  Edwin Ashworth Nov 8 '13 at 21:42

Perhaps a relic

a person or thing that has survived from an earlier time but is now outmoded

Or perhaps vestige

A visible trace, evidence, or sign of something that once existed but exists or appears no more.

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