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The phone icon on a cell phone is my favorite anachronism

The phone icon on a cell phone is my favorite anachronism

Posted Dec 21, 2012 5:18 UTC (Fri) by jhhaller (subscriber, #56103)
Parent article: Balazs: About Antiquated Metaphors in Icons

But, how would one replace a desk phone or handset with another icon? A picture of the smartphone on the desktop isn't right. And, the idea of hanging up a phone to end a call is equally obsolete for many.

There are other categories which are on their way out, even if not there yet - a picture of an envelope for mail, a physical book for an address book, and a manila folder for the concept of a directory (which word also reflects an obsolete concept).

And then, there's the LWN icon, a penguin holding what I can only imagine is supposed to be a newspaper.

These will all likely to be around even after no one remembers the physical artifact. After all, people still "dial" phone numbers, even though most young people have never put their finger in a hole and rotated a dial clockwise. Of course, those numbers are only dialed when communicating with someone not in the phone's directory.


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The phone icon on a cell phone is my favorite anachronism

Posted Dec 21, 2012 9:59 UTC (Fri) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

None of the icons you mentioned is of an object so out-of-usage as a floppy disk. Desk phones, handsets, hanging up the phone, envelopes, books, manila folders, newspapers -- all those physical artifacts and actions are in current use right now, and can be found in any office around the world.

And yet, everyone knows what the floppy disk stands for. ;-)

The phone icon on a cell phone is my favorite anachronism

Posted Dec 21, 2012 17:22 UTC (Fri) by ghane (subscriber, #1805) [Link]

> And then, there's the LWN icon, a penguin holding what I can only imagine is supposed to be a newspaper.

It is not a newspaper, it is our grumpy editor looking inside his new Nexus 15, pried open to enable rooting.


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