Thursday, January 25, 2007


So I guess I’ve become real internets savvy. I saw a piece of e-mail today whose subject line was:

Ha ha why your ramrod so small?

and... I DIDN’T OPEN it. Hey hey!.. How’s that for 21st century techno-adroitness. I’ll bet it was A COMMERCIAL for some type of topical OINTMENT that claims to make one's DINGUS bigger. They can’t fool me! I don’t even KNOW anyone named Dictator Vicious, let alone receive e-mails with “/malasianyounghot.zf” for a domain and suffix.

I did the smart thing. I copied it to my hard drive so that I could look at it later.

Anyway- for some reason I got to thinking about words in general, and how there are some words that you just don’t hear anymore. Amid the technology terms that dissipate as new products replace old ones, there also seem to be fossil words that leave general use.

Do you remember-


Mimeographs were the precursor to xerox copies made on machines, and had quite a peculiar look and smell. These were similar (and maybe exactly the same) as a “dittos” which looked like blue-prints. They had a blue outline color and a sort of pungent chemical smell that we all thought would make us high in large quantities. (Although what “high” meant to a first grader is questionable.) These ditto / mimeographs disappeared by the time I was in third or fourth grade. By that point my school had a copy machine that was about the size of The USS Intrepid. I believe that particular school copier was rented out as a tennis court on the weekends.


Did you ever call the fridge the icebox? Did you know anyone, apart form Lucy Ricardo that did? This obviously dates back to when there was actual ICE in the icebox, and not just the built-up frozen condensation that you eventually hack away with a screwdriver until you burst a freon line and get a face full of noxious ozone destroying fumes resulting in you getting cancer of the head when you’re 40.


I think I owned ONE pair of dungarees. It even said “dungarees” on the label. I know that because I had to constantly look at the label to match the animal on the DUNGAREES with the animal on the SHIRT. When EXACTLY did DUNGAREES become jeans? I’ll tell you when- April 12th, 1973. AND DID YOU KNOW that apparently dungaree comes from an Hindi word meaning coarse cloth. That’s right- dungri. I think we should change what we call jeans again. From now on I’m going to call them Blants.


Stuff that was low calorie used to be called DIETETIC. You don’t really hear that anymore. You hear diet, and lo-cal, but I think that the early “dietetic” products where so god-awful tasting, that “dietetic” became synonymous with “low in sugar AND REALLY TASTES LIKE IT!” I can remember the earliest dietetic soda I drank was TAB. I think it was still called dietetic, but then Pepsi Lite came out (an EARLY version of Pepsi with Lemon) and I clearly remember that being referentially called DIET and not dietetic. I STILL remember the HUGE product rollout for Diet Coke. Paula Abdul was part of the promotional onslaught, and soon Pepsi changed their Pepsi-Free to DIET-PEPSI. This I remember. I however can’t find my car keys.


I guess the only references to “dime stores” anymore are when you comment on something being a cheap piece of shit. Are there any dime stores left? When Woolworth’s was still around, I remember my mom referring to it as a five and dime, and I thought “wait a sec- there’s NOTHING in there for 5 or 10 cents… what the poopie?” And anyway- wouldn’t a dime store theoretically be a place where you could BUY dimes?


This sounds obscene. I love it. I wish I could have been around when people in an office would ask each other “can I use your DICTAPHONE?” [pause] “BWAH HA HA HA!” I guess it’s a recorder that uses wire instead of tape. Bizarre. Ha . Dic…


We all know what “zounds!” means, but has anyone ever used it? I mean apart from second guard from left in Coriolanus Act II scene iii… I read somewhere that it’s a contraction of “god’s wounds.” Nice exclamation eh?

Tech guy:
“Sorry but those 300 RFZ processors you ordered from Kuala Lumpur
aren’t set up to sync with the Prankton RSS Wave Comps.”

Floor manager:

“God’s Wounds!”

Tech guy:

“Yeah- no shit…”

Any more out there?

1 comment:

Clair said...

Put this in your pipe and smoke it!


I took this picture back in Dec. It's still there. Its location I cannot divulge in this public forum.