Blast From The Past
A Look Back At Yester-year
I read a posting on the web and it made me start to feel old. Its a list of obsolete skills; things that we no longer do. In fact, I’m sure there are a good number of younger adults who have never done some of these things and, and in some instances, may not even know what we’re talking about.
Breaking a 'dud' firecracker open, just to light a fizzer
Adjusting the rabbit ears on top of a TV
Change the ribbon in a typewriter
Dialing a rotary phone
Licking postage stamps
Threading a Super 8 film projector
Putting a needle on a vinyl record
Running a mimeograph machine
There has to be a lot more. Please complete the list by sending me your obsolete skills. They'll be at the bottom of this page.
I came across this phrase yesterday... 'FENDER SKIRTS.' A term I haven't heard in a long time, and thinking about 'fenderskirts' started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice like 'curb feelers' And 'steering knobs.' (AKA) suicide knob. ( ALSO NECKING KNOBS )
Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first. Any kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms to you. Remember 'Continental kits?' They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental. When did we quit calling them 'emergency brakes?' At some point 'parking brake' became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with 'emergency brake.' I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the 'foot feed.' Didn't you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home, so you could ride the 'running board' up to the house?
Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore - 'store-bought.' Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.
'Coast to coast' is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term 'world wide' for granted. This floors me. On a smaller scale, 'wall-to-wall' was once a magical term in our homes. In the '50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure. When's the last time you heard the quaint phrase 'in a family way?' It's hard to imagine that the word 'pregnant' was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company, so we had all that talk about stork visits and 'being in a family way' or simply 'expecting.'
Apparently 'brassiere' is a word no longer in usage. I said it the other day and my daughter cracked up. I guess it's just 'bra' now. 'Unmentionables' probably wouldn't be understood at all. I always loved! going to the 'picture show,' but I considered 'movie' an affectation. Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure-'60s word I came across the other day - 'rat fink.' Ooh, what a nasty put-down! Here's a word I miss - 'percolator.' That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? 'Coffee maker.' How dull. Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this.
I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like 'DynaFlow' and 'Electrolux.' Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with 'SpectraVision!' Food for thought - Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening kids with castor oil anymore. Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most, 'supper.' Now everybody says 'dinner.' Save a great word. Invite someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts. Someone forwarded this to me and I thought that some of us that were a 'certain age' would remember most of these. Just for fun, pass it along to others of 'a certain age'! Or some young'uns so they learn something new or is that learn something old??....
If you were around in 1919 (just before prohibition started) and came upon the following poster...
I mean seriously, would you quit drinking?
|Your Obsolete Skillz (cont.)|