"Batman" with Adam West debuted on television in 1965. I was in kindergarten and just learning to read. In the show, his youthful ward Dick Grayson, in the role of sidekick, Robin, would frequently utter some kind of faux oath beginning with "Holy..." Someone online has of course tallied them all, counting 367.
Sometimes the sanctified nouns were common words, "Holy Fog!" But often obscure, "Holy Tintinnabulation!" What I remember is trotting off to the dictionary to look up these words, a practice I've done all my life ("Tintinnabulation" = ringing in your ears, and no, I didn't have to look it up).
I can't tell you whether other people do the same. My hunch is they shrug the recondite words off and live with the mystery or, more precisely, forget all about it.
Before I even responded, I was on Wikipedia, learning about skeumorphism. New to me.
The term refers to when physical objects mirror design characteristics of the originals they are based on. A rubber baseball that retains stitching sprang immediately to my mind. The stitches serve no function beyond enhancing the baseball effect (sticklers will argue they facilitate grip, and they do, but toymakers could add plain lines for that. These look like lacing).
We see this in computer interface design. The email button on your cell phone looks like an envelope, even though not requiring an envelope is one of the numerous advantages of email. The stopwatch function has a little watch, complete with push buttons upon it. The pictures are tip-offs to what the buttons do.
Harry contrasted this with "flat design." Digging into that, I find that the icons I consider skeuomorphs—the little phone on my iPhone—are actually considered instances of flat design, because they are so simplified, though there is some overlap. The blue oblong with an "f" on it that calls up Facebook is flat design.
I'd say its the difference between cute and severe: a little camera with a flash cube is cute, and thus skeumorphic; a more stylized camera is severe, thus flat design.
Why so many symbols on computers? The big advantage of symbols is obvious if you consider the issue of restrooms. Once upon a time they were labeled "Men" and "Women" which only helps if you speak English. In the 1960s, we started to get those generic "Man" and "Woman" stick figurines, a descendent of the Isotypes first created in Vienna in the 1920s (a selection of Isotypes is pictured atop the blog).
I am just old enough to think of these generic figures as being vaguely futuristic.
I suppose context is important. The flat design man is what we are used to; it would be off-putting to have an actual person represented in faux three-dimensions on restroom doors. I was in a restaurant recently where the restrooms were identified by photographs—James Dean for "Men," Marilyn Monroe for "Women." It was not clever, not a visually pleasing look, but had an improvised, ad hoc quality to it. It looked cheap.
Where am I going with this? Hell if I know. I just thought it was interesting, at least did when I started out. But now I feel like someone who balled up paper under a camp fire, then watched the paper blaze away and then die down to a smoldering ruin and the fire never caught. Ah well, better than nothing, which might make for a good slogan for the blog. "EGD: Better than Nothing." I don't have a slogan, or didn't up to now. The next step is a logo or symbol for everygoddamnday—something I've never considered before. What might that look like?