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Welcome to the website woven for wordaholics, logolepts, and verbivores. Carnivores eat meat; herbivores eat plants and vegetables; verbivores devour words. If you are heels over head (as well as head over heels) in love with words, tarry here a while to graze or, perhaps, feast on the English language. Ours is the only language in which you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway and your nose can run and your feet can smell.

Have you noticed that a number of simple nouns have recently acquired new adjectives?

What we used to call, simply, “books,” for example, we now call hardcover books because of the production of paperback books. What was once simply a guitar is now an acoustic guitar because of the popularity of electric guitars. What was once just soap is now called bar soap since the invention of powdered and liquid soaps.

Frank Mankiewicz, once an aide to Robert Kennedy, invented a term for these new compounds. He called them “retronyms,” using the classical word parts retro, “back,” and nym, “name or word.” A retronym is an adjective-noun pairing generated by a change in the meaning of the noun, usually because of advances in technology and society. Retronyms, like retrospectives, are backward glances. When I was a boy, Old Faithful was young and irresponsible, the Grand Canyon was a gopher hole, rainbows were in black and white — and the Dead Sea was only sick. Just kidding, but when I was growing up, there were only Coke, peanut butter and milk. Nowadays, Diet Coke, New Coke, crunchy peanut butter and skim milk have spawned the retronyms real Coke, Classic Coke, creamy peanut butter and whole milk. When I was a young whippersnapper, there were only turf and mail. Today, artificial turf and email have brought forth natural turf and snail mail. What were once just cigarettes became unfiltered cigarettes because of the introduction of filtered cigarettes. Now we’ve added electronic cigarettes to that line-up and with it, the retronym tobacco cigarettes.

Once there were simply movies. Then movies began to talk, necessitating the retronym silent movies. Then came color movies and the contrasting term black-and-white movies. Once there was television. Along came color television and the retronym black-and-white television. Then came cable television and the retronym on-air television. Once there were simply telephones. Then came cellphones and smartphones, so now we have landlines.

Even time, which used to wait for no man, now does because it can be captured on audio and videotape. As a result, we now have something called real time. Once, all we had was reality — what could be more real? Now we have virtual reality.

I remember being skeptical when one of my students told me that he had missed my class because he had set his alarm for a.m. rather than p.m. On our old clocks, that would have been impossible, but on digital clocks it happens all the time. So what used to be just a clock (or watch) is now an analog, versus a digital, clock (or watch).

Coining a retronym for something is sometimes like waving it a nostalgic goodbye. Retronyms can signal that the article double-labeled has become outmoded and obsolete, the superseded exception rather than the rule. This is what has happened to black-and-white TV and black-and-white movies, straight razors, manual typewriters, treadle sewing machines, reel-to-reel tape recorders, pocket watches, fountain pens and rotary telephones.

For centuries, we employed the time-honored word marriage. Then gay marriage and same-sex marriage captured the headlines. With the recent Supreme Court ruling that marriage is a constitutional right for all American citizens, we will probably shed the adjectives and return simply to the word marriage.

Given the dizzying pace of commercial innovations, retronyms are bound to keep on coming. Any day now, we’ll have brand new retronyms such as driver-operated car, phoneless car, low-definition TV, 2-D TV, nonvoice-activated computer and nonmicrowave oven.

What with phone sex and safe sex, could we one day have the retronym full-participation sex? I hope not. And here are some other retronyms I pray will never come to pass — graffitiless wall, nonelectronic book, teacher-staffed school, nonrobotic worker, non-performance-enhanced athlete, two-parent family and (a pox on you, Ashley Madison!) monogamous marriage.