The encyclopedia – to a large extent replaced by the Google and the Wikipedia.
The dictionary – this took some time. I remember that I was once told the difference between ‘went’ and ‘went off’. The difference was explained with the statements – ‘He went with his wife to the beach’ vs ‘He went off with his best friend’s wife to the beach’. I was told to look it up in the Oxford’s Advanced Learners Dictionary for the same example. I do not remember whether I did find it, but I do remember looking for the ALD.
Instead of carrying a dictionary around the size of the abridged paperback version of Random House which was my companion for many a crossword in the Statesman, I switched to the useful Wordweb software available for free on my PC and now my laptop. For a few months now I find I am not using the software either because I find even more easy to use the ‘define’ feature in Google.
Google has this interesting thing which I term it the ribbon. Try entering the words ‘Works of Gogh’ or the words ‘Britihs Poloticians’. In both cases it will give you a ribbon on the top with the results. In fact in an encyclopedia I would not find ‘Britihs Poloticians’ and Google has been very tolerant in that regard. Of course the purist would be quick to point out the deplorable sense of spelling we now possess. But then who write now-a-days? In fact the word spell shows a peculiar behaviour as per Google mention graph. I have no option but attribute to the works of Tolkien and Rowling for that renewed interest. By the way the clue was ‘Person of Asian origin, old British politician, needs no introduction (7)‘.
The maps and the timetable – this is happening and I advise all of you to preserve the Bradshaw and the atlases from school for they would be best gift you may leave for your great-grandchildren as they will go for a whopping piece of fortune at the Christie’s.
While the yesteryear traveler relied on the maps, the new traveler relies on the Google maps, (yes a population relies on the competitive version). Google in fact understands flight numbers. It delivers the flight status when you type in say ‘BA49’ and it spews out that I can catch the flight in a little less than 9 hours going to Seattle from London. I would have preferred to click on Seattle acronym to further read about the place. Not yet but it would happen soon I expect.
Soon the world map of all kinds and indoor maps as well, will be available buried deep in a glass and I would be cruising around executing impossible missions much like a Hollywood actor does it now.
I wonder what other things I would be losing to Google.