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In Defence of the Floppy Disk Save Symbol

Connor Tomas O’Brien:

Those who believe that the floppy cannot represent saving a document because nobody uses real floppy disks anymore miss an important point: while symbols initially piggyback on the meaning we assigned to a material object in order to stand in for something more abstract, once a symbol is used often enough, the symbol itself is enough to carry meaning, and the material object is no longer important. (You could think of the physical object upon which a symbol is based as a kind of scaffolding). This is how all symbols operate, by the way. Once any symbol enters a culture’s visual language, the physical object it was initially based upon is no longer really relevant.

That’s exactly what I ranted about on twitter 10 days ago:

8. April 2013