Imagine a newspaper story in the 1920s about vanishing noises, Beaber said. The prime example would be the clop of horse hoofs on pavement.
"People would be talking about how the world just wouldn't be the same without that sound," he said.
But flash forward to 2004. "Do we find ourselves longing for the sound of those hoofs now? Of course not," Beaber said. "Humans adapt and move on."
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
The list of dead and dying sounds keeps growing.
One of the chief habitats for endangered audio species is the telephone. The busy signal has been curtailed by call-waiting. The clink of coins in pay phones is being overtaken by credit cards. And the soothing whoosh of rotary dialing has been replaced by the tones of push buttons.