I picked up a Webster's dictionary at an estate sale recently. Normally, that wouldn't be cause for celebration, but this one's extra special -- it's from 1962. Ooooh!
Words' meanings, of course, evolve over time. And you know all the naughty words of today had different, more tame meanings back then. Funny meanings, really. So of course, the first thing I did when I got the book was look up all those words! ;-)
What's even more fun than THAT, though, is looking in the New Words Department, toward the front of the dictionary. It's funny to think that, not so very long ago, words that WE use everyday were brand-spanking new to folks of the forties. (Or perhaps they'd been around for years, but were just then being made official by the snootisodes over at Webster's.)
In 2009, Webster's officially added words like "earmark," "flash mob," "frenemy," and "zipline."
In 1962, they granted us (among others):
Astronaut - One interested in travel in outer space.
Benadryl - A drug used in the treatment of hay fever and asthma.
How people lived without this AND super-suction vacuum cleaners, I will never know.
Boloney - (slang, USA) - Nonsense, humbug, buncombe, hooey or the like; balogna.
Strangely, "hooey" itself doesn't get its own entry anywhere in the dictionary. I demand justice for hooey!
Commercial, or commercial broadcast - A radio broadcast that is paid for by an advertiser.
Facsimile transmission - Transmission by wire or over the air of text or pictures, and, at the receiving point, production of an exact copy on paper.
I didn't know they had this back then. For reals, I'm kind of impressed!
Jam session - (slang) - A meeting at which musicians play without scores, in swing fashion.
Lobotomy - A technique of surgery in which sections are taken from the frontal lobes of the brain: used in treating certain forms of insanity.
I like their philosophy back then. "If it's broken, just take it apart!"
Scrabble - A popular parlor game involving the arrangement of letters having various point scores into words.
I don't know about you, but I would not want to live in a world without Scrabble and wacky. I just wouldn't.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Ah, yet another addendum to my Movie Character Crushes list. Or four. Hey, why not? There's enough love for everyone!
Attila The Hun, Attila
Bert, Mary Poppins
So he can't hold down a steady job -- so what? Neither can Mary Poppins. I mean, let's face it, she may be a snazzy, smart nanny, but how long does she stay with the Banks family... a week? During that time, her friend Bert, a pseudo-cockney Jack-of-all-trades, takes on the roles of a chimney sweep, a one-man-band... person, a kite salesman, and a sidewalk chalk artist. And he does them all with gusto. He's also kind and helpful and has a sense of humor. And, as Mary Poppins points out in one of her songs, he would never think of pressing his advantage. Which I think is Mary's way of telling him he'd best keep his soot-stained paws to himself, lest he feel the wrath of her birdie umbrella. (P.S. Mary Poppins is crazy.)
Marty McFly, Back to the Future
When I first saw this movie at the age of eight, I thought Marty McFly was the coolest person ever. He could skateboard (with style!), rock out on the guitar, and, oh yes, drive. Not only that, but he got to have a Walkman and a video camera and a cordless phone. Remember, that was 1985. That'd be like owning an iPhone... and... well, that's basically it... today. Uh, nevermind, that comparison sucks. Whatever. Marty = very cute, super cool, and there to save the day -- no wonder Lorraine had a mad crush on him! And heck, if he was willing to go out on a date with his mom, certainly he would consider a little eight year old girl to be his sweetheart? Right? Oh well, a girl can dream.
Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird
Oh, beloved Atticus. I don't approve of you shooting dogs, rabid or no, but anyone can see you've got madass morals and strong convictions, and that, my dear, is commendable. You strive for justice and you stand up for what you believe is right. And even though your parenting style is a tad unconventional, you've somehow managed to raise two wise little buggers. You value the truth. You haul a lamp down to the jailhouse so you can read a good book. That's awesome. And so are you.
Attila The Hun, Attila
So he kills people and burns their villages. So he has eleven wives and forty-five kids. None of that matters when you've got killer abs. None of it!
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