The word virtual is used every day in regard to something that physically doesn’t exist. Virtual classes, virtual meetings, virtual doctor visits. In nowadays world everything shifts to the online version (big part of this was played by the pandemic). When I hear the word virtual I immediately think – online. But what does virtual really mean?
The Meaning Behind The Word “Virtual”
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word virtual can have various meanings: 1. “Being such in essence or effect though not formally recognized or admitted. 2. Being on or simulated on a computer or computer network. 3. Being a hypothetical particle whose existence is inferred from indirect evidence” (Merriam-Webster, 2021)
The History of the word “Virtual”
The etymology of the word “virtual” goes as far as 2000 years into our history. But the word itself in its today form originated around 1400 from the medieval Latin word “virtualis”, which meant effective. (Porush, 2017) Commonly, the word “virtual” has been used as describing something that is not quite real.
Virtual And Our Imagination
What comes to your mind when someone mentions the word “virtual”? To me, it is something unreal. A dream world with people who don’t really exist. Something we can’t reach although it resembles our reality so perfectly. I think for most people “virtual” just means online. But to me, the scope of this world is so much wider and sometimes incomprehensible.
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