[Humanist] 23.309 "digital" = "hot"?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Sep 20 10:31:24 CEST 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 309.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2009 09:28:51 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: "digital" = "hot"?

Recently, while walking up the local high road (main street) of the 
working-class suburban London village where I live, I spotted a sign 
that reads as follows:


A photo of this sign is, of course, already in the Dictionary of Words 
in the Wild, as http://ra.tapor.ualberta.ca/~dictionary/show/4634. But I 
draw your attention to it for philological reasons, for the middle 
phrase, "digital batteries".

Ok, we do know what this actually means in technically defensible terms, 
i.e. "batteries for digital devices". But that is not what it actually 
says. As far as I know, batteries cannot be digital, and in any case, if 
they were, the folks in this neighbourhood wouldn't have a clue.

What I sense is the use of "digital" as a transcendental virtue, 
synonymous with "hot", say, in the vernacular sense. Are there other 
occurrences anyone here has noticed of "digital" being used in that way?

Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.

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