For example:

book -> paper book, e-book

phone -> telephone, smartphone

Term to describe the creation/modification of words because of the advent of technology.

  • 1
    Can you provide an example sentence? Are you looking for a term for e.g. paper book, for e-book, for both paper book and e-book, or for the process that leads to the coinage of one or both terms?
    – Stuart F
    Apr 25 '21 at 10:34

This is called a retronym:

A retronym is a newer name for an existing thing that differentiates the original form/version from a more recent one. It is thus a word or phrase created to avoid confusion between two types, whereas previously (before there were more than one type), no clarification was required.


  • This is the term denoting the modified term for the older 'version', not the term for the new 'version'. As such, a duplicate. Apr 25 '21 at 9:45

Well, there's iteration:

A form, adaption, or version of something: the latest iteration of a popular app.

Another possibility is digitization, I suppose, but I'm not as fond of that term as I am with iteration.

As for evolution, well, frankly, I think the word is over-used. Those of us who did not grow up having a computer lab in elementary school, sometimes think the so-called technological advances are a kind of devolution. In some instances, instead of bringing us closer together, they tend to distance us, leaving us isolated in our own little digital cocoons.

Hey, call me a Luddite if you will, but I assure you I am not. The world wide web has opened up the world to so many people in so many beneficial ways, but there is also a downside to many of our technological advances and marvels. Nothing can ever completely take the place of face-to-face communication. During Covid, Zoom has been a real godsend. When Covid goes away (which I hope is soon), I think our society's priority should be to engage in community building.

We can start small. One suggestion is to go on a digital-technology fast with a few close friends. Start by fasting for a short period of time, like an hour. During that hour, substitute high tech with low tech. Abandon ones and zeroes for one-on-one, in real-time.

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