USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘dial up’
folk metaphor
Folk speech

I’m Still on Dial Up

The informant is a Film Production and Biochemistry major at the University of Southern California, where he is in his third year. He is originally from Washington state, and his family moved there from North Dakota. Before North Dakota, his family lived in various parts of Eastern Europe. The informant says that is very much influenced by his grandfather, who is a professional storyteller.

This piece compares the inability to think quickly to dial up Internet.

“I’m just not fully functional. I’m still booting up—I’m like on dial up speed, honestly. I guess there’s, like an example, you know. That reference to dial up. You know what I’m staying, though? You need to know what dial up is in order to, you know.”

Analysis:

This is an example of terminus post quem, as both dial up Internet and wifi needed to exist for this reference to make sense. In order for this metaphor to be successful, both the speaker and the listened would need to be aware of the different in speed from dial up to wifi. This ties the reference to the 21st century, and as time passes, it would seem likely that dial up would be referenced less and less.

 

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