I am thinking about textbooks in technical fields, whose titles are things like "modern computer technology". These books may have been written many decades ago, so their contents very much do not reflect anything "modern" anymore. Imagine such a book where there is a line like this:

"Modern hard drives can store megabytes of information and are so small that they can be lifted by a single person"

To us this sounds painfully archaic, but at the time the book was written that was really a marvel.

I was wondering if there is a word that could be used to future proof such writing, without using the word "modern" or "state of the art", which will become obsolete very fast in certain fields.

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    The information in the book would become dated just as quickly whether the title included the word 'modern' or not, so what's the point? Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 13:27
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    Sure there is. Contemporary.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 13:30
  • I suppose it's just my own preference to avoid silly sounding lines like the ones above. Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 13:30
  • @RegDwigнt: fair enough. Post it as an answer and I can accept it Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 13:31
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    @RegDwigнt Unqualified, contemporary suffers from exactly the same syndrome.
    – Kris
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


Contemporary marries the two meanings, "modern" and "specific to a certain time".

So when the reader sees it in a title of a textbook, they still understand it was modern at the time, but they will also invariably wonder what time that actually was and make sure to look at the publishing date.

  • See also my comment above.
    – Kris
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 15:14

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