Fax Machines Are Still Used in Many Offices

August 26, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. transmit /trænsˈmɪt/ (v.) – to send information through electric signals
Example: You can transmit messages via the Internet.

2. mandatory /ˈmæn dəˌtɔr i/ (adj.) – required
Example: It is mandatory for visitors to have their bags checked by the security guard.

3. relevance /ˈrɛl ə vəns/ (n.) – importance of something
Example: Snail mail is losing its relevance because many people now prefer email.

4. inventor /ɪnˈvɛn tər/ (n.) – someone who makes a new tool or process
Example: Alexander Graham Bell is the inventor of the telephone.

5. expand /ɪkˈspænd/ (v.) – to develop or express in greater detail
Example: The young student expanded the research of her professor.


Read the text below.
Although many people had predicted the disappearance of fax machines, many offices still use the machine today.

Jonathan Coopersmith, who wrote a book on the history of fax machines, said that millions of people will still continue using the machine in the future. In fact, numerous companies and individuals still purchase new fax machines. A deputy director for Brother Industries, Ltd., an electronics and electrical equipment company, also said that fax machines are far from disappearing even though sales have been decreasing.

Fax machines are still currently being used because of their ability to transmit written messages. This is beneficial especially to companies and industries where written signatures are mandatory. These industries include banking, real estate, medicine, and legal communications. Jean Champagne [zhahn sham-PEYN] of Sagemcom Canada also mentioned that, unlike emails, fax machines offer a certain level of confidentiality, security, and originality.

Another reason why fax machines have not lost their relevance is that people from older generations still prefer to use them. These people are those who got used to using fax machines at work in the past and are no longer willing to adjust to new technologies.

While there have been many other inventors who developed the fax machine through the years, the idea originated from Scottish inventor Alexander Bain in 1843. He was able to figure out how to transmit letters and words using electric currents. This work was then expanded by Samuel Morse’s [SAM-yoo-uh l mawrs] telegraph, which also transmitted graphics.

In 1966, Xerox produced the Magnafax, which sent documents in just six minutes. In the late 1970s, Sony and other companies also began producing smaller and more affordable fax machines.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Is fax machine losing its importance in your country? Why do you say so?
·         Do you think most people will adjust to new technology when they get older? Justify your answer.

Discussion B

·         What new features would you like to see in new electronic communication devices?
·         Would you prefer to communicate with someone in person or through a device? Defend your answer.

August 26, 2015