I think, in the end, the glyphs we use for recording, voicemail, save, etc... are just that, glyphs. Their original meaning is completely irrelevant, as they have now become symbols for the action the stand for.
What I'm saying is, we're converting pictogams into ideograms, and used those to supplement our alphabets. I'm ok with that, especially if these ideograms are cross-cultural.
This isn't much different from the evolution of the various modern alphabet, by the way. For example the Hanzi character for mountain: 山 represents the three peaks of a mountain range. The latin alphabet has similar roots, which are murkier because it is much older than Hanzi:
Proto-writing earlier than 4000 BCE
-> Early Cuneiform (pictographs) 4000 BCE
-> Late Cuneiform (logographs/syllabic) 2500BCE
-> Phoenician (abjad) 1050 BCE
-> Greek (alphabet) 800 BCE
-> Latin (alphabet) ~700 BCE
Compare to the logographs/syllabic stage of Hanzi.
I will say that a WikiWalk
on the history of writing
Also, you're not becoming curmudgeonly at all. I'm a very happy twenty four year old Vim user who hasn't used a visual file browser in over two years (not by choice, anyway). I can navigate waaayyyy faster in the shell, and am never more than two keystrokes away from it. I too, chuckle softly when I hear people say that the office banner is hard to understand.
Well, no, actually. I don't chuckle. A wave of sadness washes over me until I remember this is the reason I get paid so well. If people could understand technology, I'd be out of a job!
Also, I'd bet my life that back in ancient Sumer, The exact same debate was raging on about the use of pictograms that were not meaningful anymore. The Hipster/Curmudgeon debate has a long and illustrious history, you see...
PS: Every conversation I have had recently eventually devolved into a discussion of programming languages. Not sure if this is a good thing, or if I desperately need to get some 'normal' friends.