Mt. Vernon Register-News

CNHI Special Projects

August 6, 2013

Move aside .com: Other domains are joining the Internet

(Continued)

"In the car industry, it's like the first Model T Ford that ever rolled off the lot," he explains on the phone. He has big plans for the URL, though he's still figuring out what those plans will be. He might, for example, do something educational with it, transforming it into an online museum honoring the history of the Web.

"It's funny, thinking about dot-com," says Ben Zimmer. Zimmer is a linguist — he's the executive producer of vocabulary.com — and he thinks a lot about the context and meaning of words. "Even though it still gets used, it's most often used to refer to the original dot-coms of the late '90s — the boom and bust. Perhaps for some time, it has had an almost nostalgic quality. It reminds you of that time."

Now, "dot-com" is almost extraneous: Every business is a dot-com because every business has an Internet presence. There is a word for when this happens, for when technology moves forward more quickly than the words used to describe it, e.g., "dialing" a phone or "tuning" a radio. Linguists jokingly call them "anachronyms."

Dot-com, both the address and the phrase, taught us how to use the Web — how to think about the Internet as both a location and a categorized virtual space. It was the training wheels for the bicycle we now comfortably ride. Does this new expansion represent the end of the training wheels? The end of the party line and the invention of . . . call waiting? The time during which the Internet became something beautiful and matrixed, or the time during which it frazzled our brains with confusion?

As for what came before:

Text Only
CNHI Special Projects
  • Church's denied request for National Guard visit draws national attention

    A Missouri church finds itself in the middle of a media storm after the Missouri National Guard, citing short notice and time constraints, was not able to fulfill a request last week to appear at the church’s vacation Bible school.

    August 1, 2014

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks