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People share 10 phrases that are normal today but wouldn't have made sense 100 years ago

Things like cancel culture, various pronouns and traveling to different time zones might be normal now, but none of these would have made sense a century ago.

People share 10 phrases that are normal today but wouldn't have made sense 100 years ago
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio; Reddit | u/OldPolishProverb

Times change and so does our language.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Highwaystarz
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Highwaystarz

Nothing stays the same and everything is bound to change with time. As humanity adapts to new cultural, geopolitical and sociological changes, they also switch how they talk. Let's say what was commonly heard or seen a hundred years back is not available anymore. However, if we think about it differently, we will realize that most modern-day norms wouldn't have made sense a hundred years ago. Telling someone from a century ago that they could check the weather updates on their phones or fly to different time zones within 24 hours would have seemed like something out of science fiction. So, u/Pete-South questioned the Reddit community: "What is a sentence that is normal nowadays but would not have made any sense 100 years ago?" Here are some of the most interesting answers left behind by the community.

1. Modern pronouns and various definitions

Representative Image Source: Pexels/42 North
Representative Image Source: Pexels | 42 North

"No cash, card only. I'm dead. You're canceled. Are you going to keep it? Is that movie streaming yet? What's your pronouns? She or he is transitioning. I'm a social media influencer. I'm on the spectrum. Actually, I often wonder about individuals' pronouns. I've been in the company of people I don't know that well, but we're in a social situation and I honestly can't tell if they are male or female nor what they desire to present themselves as. And while I haven't done it (yet), I often wondered if it would be offensive to ask. I can't imagine it would be. They must know they look ambiguous and I would think they would prefer that someone rather than not." u/DjDozzee.

2. Working women

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Mizuno K
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mizuno K

"Only married upper-class and aristocratic women were across-the-board exempted from working outside the home. Many married working-class women have always worked low-paying, physically difficult jobs: factory workers, laundresses, hired domestic labor, etc. Single middle-class women might be nurses, teachers, governesses, etc., and married upper-class women might choose to work if they had a connection to a particular line of work, they found the work sufficiently interesting, and their husbands didn't object. (The very first women to be working lawyers in the US passed the bar in the 1860s, for reference, and yes, they were all from wealthy families.) Women have always worked, but the main difference in modern times is increased freedom to pursue professionalized careers and (theoretically) ask for pay equal to what a man would make in the same position." u/Father-Son-HolyToast

3. Fast travel for business

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Christina Morillo
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Christina Morillo

"This event feels outdated— surely the cost of an international flight would necessitate considering a Zoom call." u/xgorgeoustormx. "That doesn’t really work the way people think it does. Something being a tax write-off doesn’t mean it’s free. If your company spends $500 on a plane ticket, it doesn’t have to pay taxes on that $500. But it still cost them $500." -u/Evening_Rock5850. "We have to blow our budget before the end of September every year, so we get the same budget on 1 October for the next full year (Fiscal Year with Govt). So yeah, we get new chairs, plane tickets booked, IT equipment we were denied all year long, overpriced conference tables, you name it. I've seen 200k just blown on replacing a building with new large oak ceiling fans and a couple of large beautiful desks (Which didn't need replacing)." u/Internet_Dad

4. Taking pictures with phones

Representative Image Source: Pexels | KoolShooters
Representative Image Source: Pexels | KoolShooters

"This is the one I immediately thought of. I remember thinking how weird it sounded 10+ years ago when my son told me, 'Take your phone out of your pocket and take a picture of me.' I immediately thought of how nonsensical it would have sounded even when I was a kid. I realize now I could have worded it better. It was normal when it happened, which was 10+ years ago (probably 15, but I don't know), but I remember thinking at the time how weird it would have been when I was a kid. I don't know why the thought even crossed my mind, but I pictured the phones from when I was a kid." u/MangoCalm7098.

5. Antibiotics

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

"My family wouldn't even exist without them. My dad would have died of pneumonia at about 5 years old back in the 60's. I would have likely died from Scarlett fever at around 3 years old back in the 80s, and my oldest would have died last year of pneumonia at the ripe old age of 5 years old. As it was, my oldest was borderline septic when we caught pneumonia + strep that he was harboring. All hail antibiotics!" -u/moa711. "My grandfather got appendicitis in the pre-antibiotic days. Three months in the hospital, three more months camping out on the back porch of a helpful but equally poverty-stricken relative. And he was a big, strong man. Fighting off infection, indeed." u/t3cheeman

6. DNA detection

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Google DeepMind
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Google DeepMind

"The criminal was identified using DNA left at the crime scene." u/2mnysheeple. "We determined who the murderer is based on the skin cells he left behind and their familial match to his brother who sent in a mouth swab to learn whether he had any French ancestors or not." u/TypeDream. "Just like Sherlock Holmes stories are full of things like a murderer leaves a cigar at the scene. Holmes infers something about it then drops the cigar on the ground and walks off." u/michaelrohansmith. "Crazier, still is that fingerprints only go back to then, it's not like DNA where we need specialized equipment to see and manipulate. It's right there, for all to see. It's used and touched daily. Sitting there on the end of all our fingers and has been since before we even climbed down from the trees. I wonder what else is in plain sight like that but can be as instrumental as fingerprint analysis to differentiate us." u/blarghmlargh

7. AI tools

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Hatice Baran
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Hatice Baran

"I tried to use ChatGPT for my online English class but all my work got flagged by the school's new AI plagiarism detection bot." u/Zynbab. "Honestly, other from ChatGPT someone from the 1970s would have recognized most of the words although they likely would have assumed bot as a shortened version of the robot (Webster mentions the usage of a shortened form of a robot going back to 1969) and think that it was a walking robot like in a sci-fi film rather than a computer program. It would have seemed futuristic." u/SAUgsburger. "Do AI detection bots exist yet? I can occasionally discern AI art, though articles written by ChatGPT fool me. At this point, every damn piece of media needs a detection bot." u/TEAZETHER

8. Conducting business through emails

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Torsten Dettlaff
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Torsten Dettlaff

"The battle of New Orleans, a part of the war of 1812 against the British, was fought 15 days after the end of the war. The treaty of Ghent that ended the war was signed in Europe, but it took weeks for the official notification to finally get to the US. The email could have helped." u/OldPolishProverb. "Imagine traveling a week by boat across the Atlantic ocean for a meeting. I can't even be bothered to get out of bed for a Zoom most days." u/damn_lies. "I picture a comedy cartoon series where a millennial travels to the past against his will and has to live a regular life because nobody cares if he even is telling the truth since he's not really knowledgeable in many areas, so, he is kind of an outcast but has to go to work anyway and this is the type of things he says on the regular." u/cimocw

9. Accurate weather forecast

Representative Image Source: Pixabay/51581
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

"Let me check the weather for next week." u/The_Gaming_Matt. "We've had weather forecasts for a long time. Hell, the first televised weather forecast was almost 90 years ago. And we were doing that way before we had TVs." u/Yodiddlyyo. "The question was about 100 years ago. And even then the average person probably couldn't just check for themselves and know the weather forecast within 10 seconds or so." u/rockninja2. "You could though. Farmers' almanacs predicted the weather and existed for a long time. Knowing the weather to expect was way more important to most people in the past than it is now. That could be the difference between a good crop and your family starving to death. Crop failures were the biggest fear of most people and most witches were burned because people feared they were going to cause their crops to fail. People developed ways to predict the weather long ago and have been producing almanacs for hundreds of years. Before that, you just learned to identify it from the sky and signs in your environment. They were pretty good at it too. We lost a lot of those skills when weather reports came about. The same way most people lost the ability to tell time from the location of the sun or tell direction and latitude/longitude from the position of the stars." u/Gatorader22

10. Scanning QR codes

Representative Image Source: Pexels | iMin Technology
Representative Image Source: Pexels | iMin Technology

"My phone is dead, can I use yours to scan the QR code on the menu?" u/Angel_in_the_snow. "Ugh, I hate QR code menus. I was in another country and didn't have phone service (and their wifi was bad, along with their internet connection), so I couldn't look at their menu. The waitress was like, 'I can bring you an iPad.' Dude, just bring me a real menu." u/spyboy70. "Now I'm imagining a posh 1920s gentleman carrying around his rotary phone like it's a briefcase. Whenever he wants to know the time, he finds a place to plug it in and asks the operator." u/SigmundFreud. "That wouldn't have made sense 15 years ago either." u/SyrusDrake

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