“Cassette Tape” Removed from the Oxford English Dictionary

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There’s a lingering rumor that cassettes are making a comeback, though don’t tell that to the literati.

The latest is that “cassette tape” is getting booted from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, in favor of newer words like ‘retweet’.  “It was so past its prime that it was not worth keeping it in,” editor-at-large Jesse Sheidlower told USA Today.

“Cassette tape” and variations will remain in the tome-like unabridged version, which we hear still exists at a dusty library near you.

Others are also jumping ship.  That includes automakers, which dumped cassette decks long ago in favor or voice-controlled navigation systems and iPhone-enabled touchscreens.  In fact, Ford is taking things a step further: in July, the company announced the end of in-dash CD players.  “The in-car CD player – much like pay telephones – is destined to fade away in the face of exciting new technology,” an executive at the company told Digital Music News.

Oxford does have reality on its side: actual sales of cassettes are now slightly above zero, according to Nielsen Soundscan stats. “I haven’t seen anything to indicate that there’s a cassette comeback,” Nielsen Soundscan executive David Bakula flatly told us earlier this year.

Instead, vinyl is the vintage breadwinner by a longshot. But hey, if you like ‘back-from-brink-stories,’ this seems like the perfect ‘brink’ from which cassettes could emerge.