Passing Phrase -

Hityashnut Metuchnenet

Literally: Planned obsolescence
Idiomatically: Built-in obsolescence; premature obsolescence

"Yashan" or old (Song of Songs 7:14) is the opposite of "chadash" (new). When something is aged like wine you would say היין התישן "Hayayin hityashen" which is positive. But when you combine it with our second word you get a different story: "Metuchnenet" is translated as planned and comes from the root word ת'כ'ן (tav-chaf-nun) which means to measure or to plan (Proverbs 21:2). When something is planned to be old (and break down before its time) we called it planned obsolescence.

A slightly different but related phrase is “Yatzah miclal shimush,” meaning obsolete. This is a favorite phrase of salesmen who, when you asked for a refrigerator of a certain model, will tell you:

אני מצטער שזה יצא מכלל שימוש.

“Ani mitztaer, ze yatzah miclal shimush."

I’m sorry, it’s obsolete.

Naturally, the next model is considerably more expensive, and of course will age before its time. Now why am I not surprised?

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