As I was writing an email this morning, it got me to thinking. This day and age we are using words that weren’t even in our vocabularies when I was younger. Whoever heard of a “worldwide web?” Even the word “Internet” is a new one, or new as we use it all the time. And we may have done two or more things at once, but we never called it “multi-tasking.”
But it is not the new words that I have to learn, it is the old that we don’t use anymore that I feel somewhat bad about.
I was watching a movie the other night on Turner Classic Movies. That is the station shows old movies without commercial interruption. I was watching an old black and white movie, and so the cars that were in the movie were also old. I am talking about cars from the late forties and early fifties. The car that the hero was driving had a “necker knob.” I bet that nobody that doesn’t get Social Security knows what a “necker knob” is. A “necker knob” was sometimes called a “steering knob,” and it was a knob that you could attach to your steering that helped you make before the invention of power steering where you often had to turn the steering wheel two full turns to make a corner.
My thoughts automatically went to other automotive things. Another thing that I haven’t heard lately is “fender skirts.” They were popular in late ’50s and in the ’60s and to our way of thinking, they really made a car look really “cool.” Another one is a “continental kit” I bet no one under the age of 60 remembers “continental kits.”
When did we stop using the term “emergency brake.” At some point, it became a parking brake. I miss the hint of drama that went with “emergency brake.”
Remember when your dad gave you your first driving lesson? He didn’t call the accelerator, he said push gently down on the “foot feet” (or the foot feed, I never knew which and didn’t bother to find out). But that’s what they called it in the “olden days.”
I remember when used to wait on the corner for Dad to come from work so I could ride the last half-block on the “running boards” up to the house. Does anyone know what “running boards” are?
When cars become more modern in the late 50’s they had an automatic transmission. Transmissions without a clutch. They would give them some made-up marketing words such as “Dyna-Flow” or “Hydra-Flow” or “Cruise O’ Matic.”
Just a thought – was there a telethon that wiped out “lumbago?” Nobody complains about that anymore. I don’t even know what it is – but a lot of people were suffering from lumbago when I was a kid.
Do you remember taking Castor Oil or Cod Liver Oil when you were a kid? If you remember it, your old enough to be retired. That was before the vitamins that you swallowed and way before the chewable vitamins but a lot of mothers swore by it and it was HORRIBLE! Can you imagine getting a teaspoon of that every day? An oil that was squeezed out of the liver of a fish? You couldn’t get the taste out of your mouth all day and every time you belched – you got a second taste.
There are some words that are just fun to say. “Percolator.” That was sort of a fun word. And what was it replaced with? “Coffee maker.” How dull! Mr. Coffee, I blame you for the loss of the word “percolator.”
Remember the term wall to wall. It is still in use today, but back in the ‘50s it was a near-magical term for a home. It meant you had enough money to put in a “wool rug” in your home. Wool Rug, that’s what we called it. Carpeting is the real name and in the ‘50s, everyone who could afford covered their hardwood floors, with, WOW, wall to wall carpeting! Today everyone is excited when they there up the carpeting and find there is hardwood flooring underneath. Go figure.
Well, forgive my little walk down memory lane. But there are some of who still remember those things. Someone of a “Certain Age.”