Print is dead? I was watching Ghostbusters (1984) this weekend, and at one point the character Egon Spengler is asked a question, to which he responds: ‘Print is dead.” What is the earliest recorded use of this phrase?Among the satisfying replies:
I found a reference in the Antioch Review (1967) that uses “print is dead” as the characterization for Marshall McLuhan’s scholarship, which make a lot of sense to me in this context. This previously is also pertinent.And:
Someone else in that group also mentions that the “print is dead” line actually gained some popularity in the early 80s in tech circles as the personal computer gained prominence. It likely wasn’t the earliest recorded use, but Egon’s quote may have just been a result of the growing sentiment of the time.Meanwhile, a recent post on Movies.com answers the question I somehow didn’t think to ask, which is what the various Ghostbusters would look like if they were cartoon ghosts. Now you know.
Best of all, I learned from the Metafilter thread above that Harold Ramis went to the high school three blocks from my new home in Chicago! This must be why I keep watching his movies. Anita O’Day went there, too, which gives me shivers. So did Shecky Greene and Sidney Sheldon, but not all at the same time.
Hello! I’m Emily Gordon, an editor, critic, copywriter, and internet lover since 1992. Emdashes, born in 2004, spent many years as a New Yorker fan blog. The project garnered some nice compliments and press.
The blog’s now treading the territories of punctuation, publications, movies, design, and other things that stir me.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a brilliant brigade of culture writers, editors, and artists. You can read all about the people who've helped build Emdashes here at “Who We?” (That’s a New Yorker joke. Old habits die hard.)
I welcome submissions, questions, corrections, and ardent, obsessive contributors. I also host occasional book-related contests and giveaways. Questioners and publishers, just email me.
The original Emdashes pencil logo was designed by Jennifer Hadley, based on a 1943 Dorothy Gray ad.