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March 29th, 2004


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11:05 am - Recent anachronisms
Every now and then you realize that a phrase or an action that you remember as common or prevalent or even well-loved has become, due to time and changing social customs and blah blah blah, an anachronism. One of the more observed recent anachronisms is the phrase "You sound like a broken record" which, to anybody under 18, must sound more like the whine of an Olympic has-been rather than an annoying repetition.

This morning I woke up with another one, though it's kinda convoluted. There's an exchange in The Rocky Horror Picture Show where Frank-N-Furter, the sweet transvestite, asks Brad, the "hero", if he has any tattoos. When Brad bristles and says "Certainly not!" Frank asks the same of Janet, the "heroine", who then giggles a bit. Then those of us watching holler "SHOW HIM THE BATTLESHIP, JANET!" and it's all fun, we share a laugh and celebrate the moments of our lives.

Anyway.

The line was written thirty years ago, when tattoos pretty much were reserved for the realm of the freaks (and servicemen, oddly enough.) Nowadays (ack, did I actually just say "nowadays"? next I'll be talking about "kids these days") tattoos are much more, well, mainstream. I think my mom was even thinking of getting one recently. The shock value of the transvestite asking the straight-laced American "hero" (and his fiancee) about tattoos is lost now, as well as the cultural connotations inherent at the time.

So. Anyone else notice any other "modern" anachronisms recently? Go ahead and share; you've got time. I'm makin' English muffins so I got a few minutes here.

(25 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:aussie_nyc
Date:March 29th, 2004 08:40 am (UTC)
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The NY Times points out that the Straphangers no longer represent any commuter who has a strap to hang onto.
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From:derspatchel
Date:March 29th, 2004 08:45 am (UTC)
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And when was the last time a NYC turnstile actually turned? (Apart from any exit gates, I mean.)
From:aussie_nyc
Date:March 29th, 2004 12:19 pm (UTC)
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And we still speak of people or teams "finding a new gear" or suchlike when today's space age hover vehicles require no gears to work their superconductive magic.
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From:plumtreeblossom
Date:March 29th, 2004 08:42 am (UTC)
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One old one you still hear is "ditto" (meaning "me too.") The mimeograph or ditto sheet ceased to exist 35+ years ago, but you still hear the term.

Heya, I have tattoos. And as of last Saturday, a pierced belly button. No battleships, though.
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From:ivorjawa
Date:March 29th, 2004 08:45 am (UTC)
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Ceased to exist? I was still getting crappy blue blurry handouts when I graduated from high school in 1994.
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From:derspatchel
Date:March 29th, 2004 08:52 am (UTC)
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I think that says more about Montana than it does the changing times, man.
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From:ivorjawa
Date:March 29th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC)
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I bet smaller school districts everywhere are still running those horrible, horrible things.
They're cheap, and they don't break down.
From:mhaille
Date:March 29th, 2004 09:09 am (UTC)
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I took an entire French class via mimeographed worksheets, also in 1994.
I don't doubt that the school still has it.
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From:betweenstations
Date:March 29th, 2004 01:23 pm (UTC)
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I suspect consumables become the greater expense, moreso than with a toner cartridge for a standard scan-n-print model copier.
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From:derspatchel
Date:March 29th, 2004 08:48 am (UTC)
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There's another one, then -- the joke in Better Off Dead where Vince Schiavelli hands his class mimeographed handouts, and they all deeply inhale as one.

Kids these days (ACK! I SAID IT) would look at the scene and go "What? They're sniffing copies?"

Though, mind you, a good photocopy, fresh from the machine, can have a pleasing bouquet as well...
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From:pecosy
Date:March 29th, 2004 09:25 am (UTC)
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Though, mind you, a good photocopy, fresh from the machine, can have a pleasing bouquet as well...

Not like the old purple dittos! They smelled soooo gooood....
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From:annilita
Date:March 29th, 2004 10:35 am (UTC)
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I totally forgot about ditto smell!!

It was almost as nice as the minty finger-paste.
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From:terras
Date:March 29th, 2004 02:27 pm (UTC)
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Ditto sniffing! Now I understand why ditto-heads are the way they are!
(Deleted comment)
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From:ivorjawa
Date:March 29th, 2004 08:53 am (UTC)
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I got a carbon copy of a receipt just the other day at Bruegger's. The credit card machine was apparently broken.
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From:coffeebeanben
Date:March 29th, 2004 09:04 am (UTC)
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We still "CC:" e-mails to each other, though.

I wonder how many people don't know what "CC:" means...
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From:tablesaw
Date:March 29th, 2004 09:47 am (UTC)
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As pointed out to me by someone else, many people now believe that "cc" on a letter or e-mail stands for "courtesy copy".
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From:derspatchel
Date:March 29th, 2004 09:55 am (UTC)
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Wow.
From:archangelsk
Date:March 29th, 2004 11:34 am (UTC)
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∴ it follows that BCC: is Blind Courtesy Copy, the recently anachronistic blues man.
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From:nathanw
Date:March 29th, 2004 09:30 am (UTC)
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Television "snow". Modern TVs and other tuners seem to like to display solid blue or something when there's no signal on a channel, not to mention that for people on cable or whatever, the idea of "no signal on a channel" is pretty wacky.

This mostly bothers me because it means that the great opening line of Neuromancer ("The sky above the port was the color of television tuned to a dead channel") will cease to be properly evocative.
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From:pecosy
Date:March 29th, 2004 09:38 am (UTC)
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People still refer to the remote control as the "clicker" though it's been a long while since they emitted a clicking noise.

"Dial" has come to mean "input the number into the phone." My folks' rotary phone died last year, ending that era in our family home. :(

Not an anachronism, but people now refer to albums as "CDs" as in "I love the new Outkast CD." The word "album" refers to a collection of recordings issued together, regardless of format, but when I talk about an album young whipper-snappers often say "Do you mean CD?"

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From:tablesaw
Date:March 29th, 2004 09:51 am (UTC)
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I don't know if that's precisely it. Most whippersnappers that I know think that album refers to LPs only. So, they only use "album" if they're talking about the pre-CD era, as in, "Back in the 80s, my dad bought all of U2's albums, so I bought him their latest CD for Christmas."
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From:grumqa
Date:March 30th, 2004 01:48 am (UTC)
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I'm all old and crap. If I am talking about the physical object, it's a CD, but if I am talking about the body of work, it's an album. As in: last weekend I bought a bunch of CDs, including the new Iced Earth album.

Anyone whut got a problem with that kin git offa mah lawn.
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From:nolly
Date:March 29th, 2004 09:39 am (UTC)
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Actually, Janet just giggles, and gives no other answer -- thus the (local?) callback "SHE DIDN'T SAY NO!"
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From:derspatchel
Date:March 29th, 2004 09:54 am (UTC)
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(and a tip o' the lynch lid for the clarification)
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From:rosalux
Date:March 29th, 2004 10:12 am (UTC)
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"pocket calculator" - pockets are bigger and calculators are much, much smaller.

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