Skeuomorph

Since 1994, A Word A Day (AWAD) has done one thing and done it well – bring a new word into your active vocabulary (complete with audible pronunciations). Truthfully, I often skim or gloss entries arriving in the daily inbox, but every now and then one really catches my attention. Today’s word: Skeuomorph:

noun: A design feature copied from a similar artifact in another material, even when not functionally necessary. For example, the click sound of a shutter in an analog camera that is now reproduced in a digital camera by playing a sound clip.

The word captures the fake authenticity meme so well. Think wood-grained vinyl on the side of a 70s station wagon. Think “distressed” jeans. Think hockey mom.

Music: Billy Bragg & Wilco :: Airline To Heaven

2 Replies to “Skeuomorph”

  1. I get wood-grained vinyl. It’s another material.

    I sort of get distressed jeans– same material, but the wear is not human wear… so maybe. Still, gotta have my pre-wash 505s.

    I don’t get hockey mom. Is it the hockey part or mom part that is not authentic? I mean she’s from Alaska (lots o’ hockey) and she has a bunch of kids (lots of mom.) Maybe this is a joke about lipstick. Hmmmm….

  2. Heh – Jeb, you’re being too literal :) Of course the mom part and the hockey part are *true* – the question is whether they’re *authentic* – it’s a populist shtick. Someone who wants to be one of the most powerful people in the world is trying to make out like “one of us?” Come on…

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