Ancient technology

My neighbour’s tenth grader just came over to borrow my scientific calculator because she’d left hers at school.

It’s the calculator that took me through high school Physics, Math and Accounting. As she went out the gate I realised the calculator is older than her…by over a decade! I guess I really can’t object any more to young people calling me “oom” (literal translation, “uncle” – in Afrikaans it’s used for non-relatives as well, with “sir” only used in formal settings, or if the person is deliberately difficult.) They should treat my calculator with that level of respect, for crying out loud!

What’s amazing is that these calculators haven’t changed much over the past three decades. It’s kinda refreshing to think that with the pace that technology keeps changing, some just do their job so well that no one feels the need to mess with it. If it ain’t broke, and all that…

6 thoughts on “Ancient technology

    1. Amazing!

      Which reminds me, a colleague who used to live in Hawaii surprised me when he revealed “Howzit” is a common greeting over there – over here as well.

      It’s really interesting how the same words can make their way into languages on completely opposite sides of the world!


    1. In both cases the word comes from Dutch – Afrikaans is mostly derived from Dutch, and in Indonesia the word became part of the vocabulary during the days of Dutch colonialism. Interesting that you also use it for non-relatives. I wonder if it’s used that way in the Netherlands as well…

      I’ve noticed Indians also use the English “auntie” and “uncle” towards non-relatives, and here in South Africa white English-speakers do it as well. I’ve always wondered if they picked it up from the Afrikaners or the Indians living here.

      Liked by 2 people

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