We all know that cassette tapes have been making a comeback, but don’t tell that to the wordsmiths over at the Oxford English Dictionary who removed the word “cassette tape” from their newest Concise edition to make room for words such as retweet, sexting, mankini, cyberbullying and a few more whacky new words. They consider cassette tapes so past their prime that the word is no longer worth keeping in.
For cassette tape enthusiasts, and those of us who still have shoe boxes filled with mix-tapes, this may be sad news for you. But while it might be depressing to think tapes are so old school that they can’t even make it into the dictionary, Oxford’s decision kind of makes sense. Most kids now don’t even know about cassette tapes, and some are hardly aware of CDs. Thanks to the introduction of file-sharing and iTunes, the main form of music now comes in the form of a file you can download. But Rap Music Guide readers know the truth, cassette tapes have some of the purest lyrics and hardest beats ever recorded. That’s why we continue to search, hoard, trade and at times sell our rare cassette tapes in order to buy more.
To drop some knowledge on you, the peak of cassette sales came in 1990, when more than 442 million cassettes were shipped to retailers. From then on began the decline of the cassette tape, and the rise of the CD, which had its peak in 2000, just before giving way to the digital era.