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Solfe
2012-Feb-12, 11:42 PM
My son came home with the following homework question:

The number of rolls of film used on a 5 day vacation - 4, 2, 4, 1, 4. What is the average number of rolls per day? My son answered 15/5 is three per day.

His question is... "What is a roll of film?"

Swift
2012-Feb-12, 11:49 PM
:lol:

KaiYeves
2012-Feb-13, 01:51 AM
Ha.

In my Intermediate School Spanish class, we used a High School textbook, so a lot of the assignments in the section about "cars and driving" were a little weird because we were all too young to drive. ("Write about how it felt taking your Driver's Test", "Write about your favorite place to drive to", etc.)

Jens
2012-Feb-13, 02:51 AM
Not homework related, but it got me thinking. When I was a kid people often said, "I'm starting to sound like a broken record." I wonder how soon that is destined to become an archaic usage. And in the future, when people read it, will they wonder what broken Olympic records has to do with repeating oneself? :)

Tobin Dax
2012-Feb-13, 03:08 AM
:lol: Priceless.

In the back of my mind, I'm waiting for the day when I use an example in a classroom lecture that most of the students don't understand.

Jim
2012-Feb-13, 05:22 PM
I was watching a sitcom recently where one older character was asking another older character how old his new girl friend was.

"22."

"22!? She's never even dialed a phone!!"

BigDon
2012-Feb-13, 05:46 PM
:lol: Priceless.

In the back of my mind, I'm waiting for the day when I use an example in a classroom lecture that most of the students don't understand.

Tobin, I friend of mine teaches History at the high school we all graduated from and not a one of his students gets any "Welcome Back Kotter" references.

BigDon
2012-Feb-13, 05:49 PM
Speaking of which, I was a bit bummed to find out "Hotsie Totsie" passed away a few years back. I had a crush on her back in the olden days.

KaiYeves
2012-Feb-13, 06:02 PM
:lol: Priceless.

In the back of my mind, I'm waiting for the day when I use an example in a classroom lecture that most of the students don't understand.
I made an Inspector Gadget reference to some 7-year-olds over the summer and they asked me what it was.

I'm at the point where I just assume any show I remember watching is no longer on the air.

Paul Beardsley
2012-Feb-13, 07:09 PM
I made an Inspector Gadget reference to some 7-year-olds over the summer and they asked me what it was.

It's funny you should say that. A couple of weeks ago as I was getting off the train, I heard one schoolkid say to another, "Inspector Gadget." The other laughed. I looked along the platform and there was a middle-aged man wearing a raincoat and hat that made him look like the character in question. I was quite surprised they knew about him.

Paul Beardsley
2012-Feb-13, 07:13 PM
Not homework related, but it got me thinking. When I was a kid people often said, "I'm starting to sound like a broken record." I wonder how soon that is destined to become an archaic usage. And in the future, when people read it, will they wonder what broken Olympic records has to do with repeating oneself? :)

I think people will continue to use the expression without knowing its origin. It's quite commonplace to speak of "wading through molasses" but how many people who use the expression have actually seen molasses?

Swift
2012-Feb-13, 07:27 PM
I think people will continue to use the expression without knowing its origin. It's quite commonplace to speak of "wading through molasses" but how many people who use the expression have actually seen molasses?
Or "dialing a phone"?

Over 10 years ago, a fellow I worked with told a story about his kid (7 or 8 at the time) going over to a friend's house. When he had to call his dad to get a ride home, the friend's mom said to use the phone in the kitchen. He told his dad, when his dad picked him up, that he didn't know how to use the phone; it had a "dial" instead of pushbuttons, and he had never seen such a thing!

By the way, in my kitchen, I still have a hard-wired dial phone, from the Ma Bell days. It still works fine, though we usually only use it to answer the phone.

jrkeller
2012-Feb-13, 07:34 PM
By the way, in my kitchen, I still have a hard-wired dial phone, from the Ma Bell days. It still works fine, though we usually only use it to answer the phone.

I still have one of those too. Mainly for when the power goes out for days, such as what happened during hurricane Ike.

ToSeek
2012-Feb-13, 07:42 PM
If you really want to feel old: http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2015/

peteshimmon
2012-Feb-13, 08:18 PM
News media keep talking about "footage"!
Heck, if you could line up those memory
cells from the phone camera it might not
even be a milli-metre!

NEOWatcher
2012-Feb-13, 08:19 PM
If you really want to feel old: http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2015/
Yep; some of those do.
Although; there are some that I can dispute, some where just the object has changed, some thrown in just to throw in some celebs who have gotten old, and some that they wouldn't even understand the reference to.

My two biggest examples:
Electric cars aren't really humming along yet.
And I've known PC as a computer long before it was considered a politeness. Worse is going to be the next generation. PC'ness is still going to be an issue, but they are going to say "computer?". Everything is going to be a phone or some other word.

KaiYeves
2012-Feb-13, 09:24 PM
If you really want to feel old: http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2015/
Well, since I *am* class of 2015, that doesn't make me feel old, but realizing that next year will be ten years since the Columbia disaster does.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Feb-13, 09:52 PM
If you really want to feel old: http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2015/
His rocking back and forth while talking to a point 10 feet off the side of the camera make it really hard to watch.
Is that seriously a way they want to present themselves publicly?

Jim
2012-Feb-13, 10:57 PM
Or "dialing a phone"?

Over 10 years ago, a fellow I worked with told a story about his kid (7 or 8 at the time) going over to a friend's house. When he had to call his dad to get a ride home, the friend's mom said to use the phone in the kitchen. He told his dad, when his dad picked him up, that he didn't know how to use the phone; it had a "dial" instead of pushbuttons, and he had never seen such a thing! ...

(cough)


I was watching a sitcom recently where one older character was asking another older character how old his new girl friend was.

"22."

"22!? She's never even dialed a phone!!"

Solfe
2012-Feb-13, 11:14 PM
When I worked at Fisher-Price, our department received a sample product: The Fisher-Price Chatter Phone. It had push buttons instead of the more recognisable dial. We all looked concerned and thought this was a bad turn for a classic toy.

Nope, we were wrong. The push button Chatter Phone had been made for years in relatively tiny numbers compared to the "regular" dial Chatter Phone, so we had never heard of or seen one.

They still make the Chatter Phone with dial, still going strong since 1962...

Oddly, they make a snap on sleeve for ipods and ipads for babies. Funny what sells.

swampyankee
2012-Feb-14, 12:09 AM
One occasionally hears the expression "drop a dime on him." I can remember pay phones, and even when it cost a dime to make a 'phone call. Of course, I don't see pay phones any more.

SeanF
2012-Feb-14, 01:58 AM
Several years ago, I read a programming book in which the author, while emphasizing a particular point, said "I don't want to sound like a broken record (that's a CD with a tracking error for you kids), but..." It won't be long now before CD has no meaning in that sense.


I think people will continue to use the expression without knowing its origin. It's quite commonplace to speak of "wading through molasses" but how many people who use the expression have actually seen molasses?
I don't think I've ever heard the expression "wading through molasses," although "slower than molasses in January" is fairly common around these parts.

The one I think about is "calling card." Nowadays, that refers to a prepaid phone card, so using it as a metaphor for some identifying feature (as in, "he left his calling card") seems odd.

I wonder how many people today know what it originally meant for something to have "gone by the boards"?

KaiYeves
2012-Feb-14, 02:08 AM
The one I think about is "calling card." Nowadays, that refers to a prepaid phone card, so using it as a metaphor for some identifying feature (as in, "he left his calling card") seems odd.

I learned it from its usage in superhero-type stories to refer to when a criminal deliberately left something proving they were the one responsible for a crime, but I didn't learn until much later that it referred to an actual 1800s social practice.

BigDon
2012-Feb-14, 03:12 PM
When I was a kid we had big german shepard who had a taste for paper mache art projects.

So at least twice I had to tell Mr. Zimmer, my art teacher, "My dog REALLY ate my homework!"

Delvo
2012-Feb-14, 03:49 PM
Those lists supposedly representing how "kids these days" see the world are always full of stuff that doesn't make sense and is just plain wrong. Nobody thinks the world began when (s)he was born and everybody is aware of specific things that happened before then. I couldn't begin to list or even count the conversations I've had with much younger people about stuff that these lists claim they had no concept of at all. Plus, some of the stuff they claim happened recently didn't anyway. Just glancing down the one that's posted above, I saw a reference to the phrase "yadda yadda yadda" which indicates that the author thinks Seinfeld invented it. It only appeared in that show because it was already a well known phrase!

Anyway, since the part of my screen outside my browser window at this moment shows my background picture, which is of a B-2, I have to note that "stealth" and "stealthy" until recently didn't refer to the trait of being inherently invisible or untrackable even to sensors that are pointed right at you; it was about the behavior of staying out of sight by knowing where people/animals were likely to look and not being there, and avoiding resembling what they were looking for. But among people who aren't interested in military technology, it's more a case of the word just falling out of use rather than shifting from one meaning to another.

Grey
2012-Feb-14, 05:59 PM
When I was a kid we had big german shepard who had a taste for paper mache art projects.

So at least twice I had to tell Mr. Zimmer, my art teacher, "My dog REALLY ate my homework!"My wife teaches at a local college, and we used to have a greyhound that would eat just about anything (I was particularly amazed when she decided that charcoal that barbecue sauce had dripped on while grilling was close enough to food that she happily wolfed it down). So there ended up an occasion when my wife had to tell a student, "Sorry, but my dog ate your homework". (She did give the student full credit on the assignment).

Paul Beardsley
2012-Feb-14, 06:20 PM
My wife teaches at a local college, and we used to have a greyhound that would eat just about anything (I was particularly amazed when she decided that charcoal that barbecue sauce had dripped on while grilling was close enough to food that she happily wolfed it down). So there ended up an occasion when my wife had to tell a student, "Sorry, but my dog ate your homework". (She did give the student full credit on the assignment).

That's actually funnier than Don's!

Solfe
2012-Mar-22, 02:28 AM
I am bring this thread back from the dead for this piece of homework.

16569

In case you can't read that, it reads "Beetleguce" is also very huge.

Not bad for seven years old, eh? I am sure he will get the spelling down soon.

vonmazur
2012-Mar-22, 03:04 AM
Several years ago, I read a programming book in which the author, while emphasizing a particular point, said "I don't want to sound like a broken record (that's a CD with a tracking error for you kids), but..." It won't be long now before CD has no meaning in that sense.


I don't think I've ever heard the expression "wading through molasses," although "slower than molasses in January" is fairly common around these parts.

The one I think about is "calling card." Nowadays, that refers to a prepaid phone card, so using it as a metaphor for some identifying feature (as in, "he left his calling card") seems odd.

I wonder how many people today know what it originally meant for something to have "gone by the boards"?


Sure, Railroad signal semaphores were called "Boards" by the operators and dispatchers...it means the train is going thru or has left the territory controlled by the signal indication....

20 years as a tower operator and I had to learn something!!!

Dale

SeanF
2012-Mar-22, 02:09 PM
Sure, Railroad signal semaphores were called "Boards" by the operators and dispatchers...it means the train is going thru or has left the territory controlled by the signal indication....

20 years as a tower operator and I had to learn something!!!

Dale
Whoops.

It's actually a nautical expression that predates trains by a couple centuries. "Boards" referred to the sides of the ship (which is where we get the word "overboard"), and something that has "gone by the boards" is something that has fallen or been thrown off the ship - and thus gone by the boards - into the ocean.

Although it's certainly possible that your mentioned usage may have been a contributing factor to it becoming popular in the more generic sense.

John Mendenhall
2012-Mar-22, 03:59 PM
Not homework related, but it got me thinking. When I was a kid people often said, "I'm starting to sound like a broken record." I wonder how soon that is destined to become an archaic usage. And in the future, when people read it, will they wonder what broken Olympic records has to do with repeating oneself? :)

My partner Donna and I sell vinyl LP's (Long Playing records) by the hundreds every week at our flea market stand. Except one fine day a youngster walked up and asked "What are these?" And then of course, "How do you play them?"

Questions like that make my arthritis flare up.

Regards, John M.

John Mendenhall
2012-Mar-22, 04:14 PM
Worth noting that when I ask youngsters in the same age range as above why they are buying LP's, they all say "The records sound better!"

That eases the arthritis pain a lot.

vonmazur
2012-Mar-23, 06:16 AM
Whoops.

It's actually a nautical expression that predates trains by a couple centuries. "Boards" referred to the sides of the ship (which is where we get the word "overboard"), and something that has "gone by the boards" is something that has fallen or been thrown off the ship - and thus gone by the boards - into the ocean.

Although it's certainly possible that your mentioned usage may have been a contributing factor to it becoming popular in the more generic sense.

The railroad telegraphers are the "ancestor" of the internet, and the source of many of these expressions...All I can say what the usage was when I was an Operator in a Tower on the RR in Connecticut and New York...Perhaps some operator in the ancient times was a former sailor???

Dale

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-23, 06:49 AM
I suspect lots of terminology of telegraphy is inherited from the visual semaphore lines that were an ancestor to them and lots of terminology of those were inherited from naval semaphore.

Those are still very different boards:)

Nicolas
2012-Mar-23, 10:15 AM
One occasionally hears the expression "drop a dime on him." I can remember pay phones, and even when it cost a dime to make a 'phone call. Of course, I don't see pay phones any more.

We still have them with coins here. No longer with telecards though. Side remark about them: in crime series on television, they always need some high-end tracing mechanism to come to the conclusion that the call was made from a pay phone. I know that instantly, simply from the "rrrrrrt rrrrrrt rrrrrrrt" noise on the background of the conversation. I assume that's the payclock you hear "leaking" into the conversation.

Nicolas
2012-Mar-23, 10:28 AM
Worth noting that when I ask youngsters in the same age range as above why they are buying LP's, they all say "The records sound better!"

That eases the arthritis pain a lot.

I felth arthritis coming up when I hired a DJ for the wedding. He came to my house, saw all the vinyl and was amazed I still used that. The DJ was way older than me. :)

I for one am not from the "vinyl sounds better" school. Vinyl sounds subtly different [than CD], not better or worse in general. Though I do like some genres best on vinyl. For example Fleetwood Mac's bass guitar lines sound imo best from vinyl. Other things I prefer from (a decent) CD. Anyway, any CD or vinyl record on a home installation sounds better than whatever these youngster listen to through 2mm pizo speakers in flimsy plastic cases.

On the arthritis part, I recently had to explain someone that there were synthesizers and synthesizer music before the computer. You know, playing them black and white keys on analog circuits, as if it were a music instrument and all that...My hobbies make me feel old. Like that time I was talking about the influence of a carburetor's velocity stack's length on where you change the power band, and the other guy only knew injection engines...Or people who've never driven without power steering. Or never slept in a room without heating. :)

Nicolas
2012-Mar-23, 10:35 AM
Going back to the homework part, there was a time when a lot of subjects you had to write about were in the "not applicable" range for our (and some other's) households. Computer? We had none. Internet? We had none. Cable television? We had none. Microwave oven? We had none. Central heating? No sir. Shower? No sir (hey, we had a bathtub, don't panic). Mom's job? Housewive. Cell phone? We had none. VHS player? We had none. The upside was that I often was finished quite soon on these questions. Too bad there was no such easy way out on math homework. "We don't have the number 3 at home, so I can't solve this question." didn't work.

Hornblower
2012-Mar-23, 02:01 PM
Many of today's kids who routinely use computer keyboards would not get it with the sound effects in Leroy Anderson's piece, "The Typewriter." The clicking of the keys would be clear enough, but the bell and the carriage return sound would be a mystery.

Hornblower
2012-Mar-23, 02:06 PM
Many of today's kids who routinely use computer keyboards would not get it with the sound effects in Leroy Anderson's piece, "The Typewriter." The clicking of the keys would be clear enough, but the bell and the carriage return sound would be a mystery.Addendum: For those of you who are unfamiliar of this orchestral ditty, here is a nice YouTube video of it being played on a 78rpm record player about 1957.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vuDMInQMYQ

SeanF
2012-Mar-23, 02:20 PM
"We don't have the number 3 at home, so I can't solve this question." didn't work.

My friend asked me why I never called him anymore. I told him I couldn't, because my phone doesn't have a four on it. He said, "That's weird. How long have you had it?"

I said, "I don't know - my calendar doesn't have any sevens."
:)

Nicolas
2012-Mar-23, 04:29 PM
Time for a good old rimshot. :)

Trebuchet
2012-Mar-23, 06:41 PM
Off-topic, and I'll probably start an About Baut thread about it, but this particular thread is acting wonky for me:
- It show up as having new posts when there are none,
- Clicking "Go to First Unread Post" goes to the first post, and
- Clicking "Go to Last Post" goes to the first post.

Anyone else seeing this?

ETA: Now that I added a post, it appears to be more normal.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-23, 07:10 PM
It's likely a soft deleted post which you hadn't read, yet was last.
This would result in the thread having a post you hadn't read yet, which wouldn't get marked read because the last post shown to you was the one before.
"Go to last" and "go to first unread" transforms to "go to the specific post" and this, because it isn't shown the thread, means the anchor referred to in the #23436 part of the address isn't there so you go to the start of the page.

DonM435
2012-Mar-23, 07:44 PM
Re: No four on the telephone ...

Long ago, I remember trying to use a pay phone (that's how long ago) and finding that one of the numeric buttons was inoperative: not missing, but rather permenently smashed in. And, it was one that I needed to enter the number that I wanted to call!

What to do? I pressed the "operator" code (in those days "zero" connected you with, well, an operator) and said "Ma'am, could you please connect me with 925-6330?" Heck, they did that all the time in the old movies and rural-setting TV shows. Surely it works in an emergency.

"That's a local call. You can dial that yourself" she said, and disconnected before I said "No, I can't dial that, I have no stupid '6'! Hey, come back here!" Good customer service that.

I figured out which friend I could call with the nine functional buttons and had him pass on the message for me.

Trebuchet
2012-Mar-24, 12:19 AM
It's likely a soft deleted post which you hadn't read, yet was last.
This would result in the thread having a post you hadn't read yet, which wouldn't get marked read because the last post shown to you was the one before.
"Go to last" and "go to first unread" transforms to "go to the specific post" and this, because it isn't shown the thread, means the anchor referred to in the #23436 part of the address isn't there so you go to the start of the page.

Uhh, okay, whatever it was you said. Seems to be working ok now.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-24, 08:25 AM
When a user deletes a post it's still there, just not visible.
Moderators have the choice of doing the same (soft delete) or deleting the post completely (hard delete).

What I suspect is that the board software still counted one of those soft deleted posts as the last of the thread.

Since this post isn't sent this breaks normal navigation to a post, which happens by telling the browser which post to move to after loading the page, and because that post isn't anywhere on the page this strands you at the start.

Trebuchet
2012-Mar-24, 02:34 PM
Ok, thanks! It's working now, just needed one new post which I supplied.

neilzero
2012-Mar-24, 05:01 PM
Worth noting that when I ask youngsters in the same age range as above why they are buying LP's, they all say "The records sound better!"
Even more ancient, I used to think AM radio music and old movie music sounds better than FM and new media. Perhaps I still do but early 20th century music is rarely heard anymore. Neil

Trakar
2012-Mar-24, 05:50 PM
If you really want to feel old: http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2015/

That it does!

I frequently run into these reminders of age when I'm talking to younger co-workers,...it's bad enough to have to explain VCRs, but trying to explain Beta to those who really didn't understand VCR is just down right annoying. It also has made me go through and attach a mental note to associations regarding 8-track players.

Trakar
2012-Mar-24, 06:03 PM
Several years ago, I read a programming book in which the author, while emphasizing a particular point, said "I don't want to sound like a broken record (that's a CD with a tracking error for you kids), but..." It won't be long now before CD has no meaning in that sense.


I don't think I've ever heard the expression "wading through molasses," although "slower than molasses in January" is fairly common around these parts.

The one I think about is "calling card." Nowadays, that refers to a prepaid phone card, so using it as a metaphor for some identifying feature (as in, "he left his calling card") seems odd.

I wonder how many people today know what it originally meant for something to have "gone by the boards"?

I don't know that this last (gone by the boards) is so much anachronistic as it is obscure due to the fact that not many people sail. Rather like the "whole nine yards," "three sheets to the wind," "cut and run," "learning the ropes" or the issue of cold brass monkey orbs. With the exception of the last, these are all still valid sailing references, popular culture has merely de-emphsized their widespread usage.

Nicolas
2012-Mar-24, 06:10 PM
Even more ancient, I used to think AM radio music and old movie music sounds better than FM and new media. Perhaps I still do but early 20th century music is rarely heard anymore. Neil

If you mean movie music so old that it was played live in the theatre by an orchestra, then yes it did sound better. :)

Trakar
2012-Mar-24, 06:17 PM
Sure, Railroad signal semaphores were called "Boards" by the operators and dispatchers...it means the train is going thru or has left the territory controlled by the signal indication....

20 years as a tower operator and I had to learn something!!!

Dale

Actually goes back to pure sailing vessels, first referring to unsecurded items on deck being lost as they got washed off the deck boards, and later came to reference ports of call on regular routes that went by the boards due to shifts in winds and schedulings which made it impractical if not impossible to make the adjustments to hit every scheduled port call. These stops became like the lost items washed over board and were considered gone by the board. At the least this is the meaning I learned as a youngster when first becoming involved in sailing.

Then again, I've heard alternate and reasonable explanations for a lot of these types of sayings, so treat this as additional and parallel input, rather than any sort of attempted "correction."

SeanF
2012-Mar-25, 03:13 AM
I don't know that this last (gone by the boards) is so much anachronistic as it is obscure due to the fact that not many people sail. Rather like the "whole nine yards," "three sheets to the wind," "cut and run," "learning the ropes" or the issue of cold brass monkey orbs. With the exception of the last, these are all still valid sailing references, popular culture has merely de-emphsized their widespread usage.
"The whole nine yards" is actually one of those expressions for which the etymology is almost totally unknown. It appears to be far too young (the earliest known usage in print is from the early 1960s) for it to have been an old nautical term.

Solfe
2012-Mar-25, 04:22 PM
"The whole nine yards" is actually one of those expressions for which the etymology is almost totally unknown. It appears to be far too young (the earliest known usage in print is from the early 1960s) for it to have been an old nautical term.

I had a teacher claim that "The whole nine yards" was the measured length of the fabric used for a formal toga in ancient Rome. I was pretty sure they didn't use yards in Rome, also wrapping up with 9 yards of fabric doesn't sound to comfortable to me.

profloater
2012-Mar-25, 04:41 PM
My son had to write an essay for homework (you can tell this was a long time ago already) about making jam. He started his essay "First take two chairs" because we did make jam at home with a cloth tied between the legs of the upturned chair! He got a good mark.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-25, 04:46 PM
I had a teacher claim that "The whole nine yards" was the measured length of the fabric used for a formal toga in ancient Rome. I was pretty sure they didn't use yards in Rome, also wrapping up with 9 yards of fabric doesn't sound to comfortable to me.
It actually is quite comfortable with a long piece of fabric, since the length allows adjustments so it doesn't slip and allows a lose enough fit that it doesn't constrain movement.
There's just no comparison with the way a bed sheet feels when pressed into service as a makeshift toga for a costume party, the experience is not transferable.

Disclaimer: I've only tried with 5 yards which was uncomfortably short.

TJMac
2012-Mar-25, 05:12 PM
My kids have actually experienced a VCR, but I still get blank looks at the end of watching a DVD movie, and I say, "make sure you rewind it." :rolleyes:

TJ

Trakar
2012-Mar-25, 05:23 PM
"The whole nine yards" is actually one of those expressions for which the etymology is almost totally unknown. It appears to be far too young (the earliest known usage in print is from the early 1960s) for it to have been an old nautical term.

I wouldn't argue heavily against this, I do think that variations of the phrase extend much further back than the 1960s but am not prepared to offer compelling evidences to support this belief.

"to the nines" certainly makes sense with regards to suit making
"full nine yards" certainly makes sense with the old vickers machine guns and aircraft ammunition belts
"all nine yards" makes sense with respect to old three masted sailing vessels

I suspect that it is probably an amalgamation of previous statements of similar meaning.

Paul Beardsley
2012-Mar-25, 06:22 PM
My son had to write an essay for homework (you can tell this was a long time ago already) about making jam. He started his essay "First take two chairs" because we did make jam at home with a cloth tied between the legs of the upturned chair! He got a good mark.

I read this to my wife, and she said that's not jam, it's jelly!

I forward this comment without any comment of my own, because I don't know anything about the subject.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-25, 07:20 PM
The difference between jam and jelly is in how much of the fruit is in the finished product, if you filter it through a cloth it's no longer jam.
Well caught by her. Though I do know the difference I missed it on first reading.

publiusr
2012-Mar-25, 07:50 PM
There is a nice game using obscure words called SAYS YOU!
http://www.wgbh.org/programs/Says-You-293 http://www.saysyou.net/home/whos_who/

A lot of obscure sayings are dealt with...

profloater
2012-Mar-25, 09:33 PM
The difference between jam and jelly is in how much of the fruit is in the finished product, if you filter it through a cloth it's no longer jam.
Well caught by her. Though I do know the difference I missed it on first reading.I think the only difference between jam and jelly is which side of the atlantic you eat it. :)

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-25, 09:52 PM
I think you may be thinking of the difference between jam and marmalade there. The legal difference is in some countries based on the amount of fruit left in the preserve while in others (UK) marmalade is jam made specifically from citrus fruits.

As far as I know, jelly is without pulp and pips on both sides.

DonM435
2012-Mar-25, 11:48 PM
My kids have actually experienced a VCR, but I still get blank looks at the end of watching a DVD movie, and I say, "make sure you rewind it." :rolleyes:

TJ

Some video rental stores used to put their standard "PLEASE REWIND" stickers on their early DVDs. (Also on the candy bars they sold, in some cases, and you really have to wonder about that.)

Solfe
2012-Mar-25, 11:50 PM
I always took jelly to very smooth and uniform and jam to be chunky, but it never occurred to me that there would actually be formal definitions of each.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-26, 12:19 AM
Jelly is smooth and uniform exactly because the fruit pulp has been filtered out. :)

SeanF
2012-Mar-26, 02:38 AM
I wouldn't argue heavily against this, I do think that variations of the phrase extend much further back than the 1960s but am not prepared to offer compelling evidences to support this belief.

"to the nines" certainly makes sense with regards to suit making
"full nine yards" certainly makes sense with the old vickers machine guns and aircraft ammunition belts
"all nine yards" makes sense with respect to old three masted sailing vessels

I suspect that it is probably an amalgamation of previous statements of similar meaning.
Yes, military personnel using "whole/full nine yards" to refer to ammunition belts makes perfect sense. Them doing it without a single person ever writing it down doesn't.

Trakar
2012-Mar-26, 02:47 PM
Yes, military personnel using "whole/full nine yards" to refer to ammunition belts makes perfect sense. Them doing it without a single person ever writing it down doesn't.

There is a difference between not ever writing it down, and not finding an internet or easily accessible search referencing those potential writings.

SeanF
2012-Mar-26, 04:08 PM
There is a difference between not ever writing it down, and not finding an internet or easily accessible search referencing those potential writings.
The experts who research these kinds of things do not limit themselves to "an internet or easily accessible search." They're professionals, and they know what they're doing (and love doing it). They look everywhere.

The person who finds a written record of a non-metaphorical use of "the whole nine yards" that predates the metaphorical usage will be famous.

In certain circles, anyway. :)

And note that it may be true that one (or more) of your proposed sources is, in fact, the actual source. But at this point, nobody knows for sure.

Trakar
2012-Mar-27, 03:20 AM
The experts who research these kinds of things do not limit themselves to "an internet or easily accessible search." They're professionals, and they know what they're doing (and love doing it). They look everywhere.

The person who finds a written record of a non-metaphorical use of "the whole nine yards" that predates the metaphorical usage will be famous.

In certain circles, anyway. :)

And note that it may be true that one (or more) of your proposed sources is, in fact, the actual source. But at this point, nobody knows for sure.

Fully agreed, that is in accord with what I have stated up thread.

swampyankee
2012-Mar-27, 10:20 AM
I think the only difference between jam and jelly is which side of the atlantic you eat it. :)

Not in the part of the US in which I live: jelly is made from juice, while jam (and preserves) are made from fruit, and will include pulp, seeds, etc.

DoggerDan
2012-Mar-28, 11:58 AM
...jelly is made from juice, while jam (and preserves) are made from fruit, and will include pulp, seeds, etc.

Ahh, you haven't been around the world where "jellies" are made from all manner of life by-products! Most (I think) were the gelatinous results of stewed roots. Some were from fungi. Others? Who knows? I didn't suffer any hallucinogenic effects, so, while tasty, I think I steered clear of the law.

swampyankee
2012-Mar-28, 11:54 PM
"The whole nine yards" is actually one of those expressions for which the etymology is almost totally unknown. It appears to be far too young (the earliest known usage in print is from the early 1960s) for it to have been an old nautical term.

I had heard it was because concrete trucks could deliver up to 9 cubic yards of mix.

swampyankee
2012-Mar-28, 11:55 PM
Ahh, you haven't been around the world where "jellies" are made from all manner of life by-products! Most (I think) were the gelatinous results of stewed roots. Some were from fungi. Others? Who knows? I didn't suffer any hallucinogenic effects, so, while tasty, I think I steered clear of the law.

I've been to very limited parts of the World. I also have a fairly low "ick" threshold, so there is a lot of stuff I won't eat.

Trakar
2012-Mar-29, 02:07 AM
I had heard it was because concrete trucks could deliver up to 9 cubic yards of mix.

I've heard that explanation, but trucks generally average between 6-10 yards of concrete.

Grey
2012-Mar-29, 01:35 PM
I had heard it was because concrete trucks could deliver up to 9 cubic yards of mix.But apparently although that's a fairly typical size now, back when the expression first began to be seen, concrete trucks were generally smaller, with four to five yards being more typical.

SeanF
2012-Mar-29, 01:47 PM
My personal preferred theory is that it's going to turn out to be something that an author made up for a fictional story just because it sounded good, and people began using it after reading the story just because it sounded good. There never was any real-life literal meaning to the expression.

I, of course, have no evidence to support this theory. I just like it. :)

Grey
2012-Mar-29, 03:21 PM
That's a good theory. And I'm wondering if maybe you're right. I went looking some more, and found an interesting bit on this page (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/the-whole-nine-yards.html):


What I am sure of is that the phrase wasn't in wide circulation before 1961 - which tends to rule out many of the suggested sources. Why? In May 1961, the American athlete Ralph Boston broke the world long jump record with a jump of 27 feet 1/2 inch. No one had previously jumped 27 feet. This was big news at the time and widely reported. Surely the feat cried out for this headline?:

"Boston goes the whole nine yards"

And yet, not a single journalist worldwide came up with that line, which is missing from all newspaper archives. The phrase may have been coined before 1961, but it certainly wasn't then known to that most slang-aware of groups - newspaper journalists.
I agree with the assessment of the author that this is pretty conclusive evidence that the phrase was not in popular use before that time. On that same page is the actual quote of the first known instance, in a short story called Man on the Thresh-Hold by Robert Wegner:


"...the consequence of house, home, kids, respectability, status as a college professor and the whole nine yards, as a brush salesman who came by the house was fond of saying, the whole damn nine yards..."

My current theory is now that Robert Wegner really did know a brush salesman who was fond of saying that (and maybe invented the phrase), thought it was entertaining enough to use it in a short story. The story was published in the magazine Michigan's Voices, and perhaps got sufficient circulation that people started using it. Note that Wegner specifically calls it out as a phrase that someone specific uses, implying that it's an interesting and unusual turn of expression, not something that everyone would be familiar with.

SeanF
2012-Mar-29, 04:59 PM
That's a good theory. And I'm wondering if maybe you're right. I went looking some more, and found an interesting bit on this page (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/the-whole-nine-yards.html):
Wow, thanks for that, Grey. I had not seen that before - although I'll admit that I hadn't done a whole lot of research. My go-to guy for word origins is The Word Detective (http://www.word-detective.com/), and he never specified what the earliest known usage was.

I wonder if Mr. Robert E. Wegner is still alive, or if anybody ever asked him about it...

Grey
2012-Mar-29, 07:24 PM
I wonder if Mr. Robert E. Wegner is still alive, or if anybody ever asked him about it...I went looking, but wasn't able to find anything either way (although I did find a few references to other things he's written). I was thinking the same thing: if he's alive, we should ask him!

Grey
2012-Mar-29, 07:43 PM
Okay, the internet is an amazing place. A Robert E. Wegner was one of the editors of this collection of short stories (http://books.google.com/books?id=ShMK29jyE4AC&pg=PA338&lpg=PA338&dq=%22robert+e+wegner%22+author+-wagner&source=bl&ots=5c5RMiQfgF&sig=Z0MjHltVkbpRT9iUay1SoqBA5_E&hl=en&sa=X&ei=S7d0T5DyCOa22gWi9ODaDg&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=%22robert%20e%20wegner%22%20author%20-wagner&f=false) from Michigan authors, which sounds very much like it could be the same person. At the time that was published, he was a professor of English at Alma college. That's within a couple hours of me, even if I had to go visit in person, but that collection was published in 1982, 30 years ago, and he's not listed among the current faculty at Alma. It wasn't looking too good at this point.

But adding Alma to the search gives me a link to this page (http://www.alma.edu/content/catalog/4-faculty.php), which is a current list that also includes all the professors emeritus, and he's on the list! Looks like he retired in 1991. I might send a note to Alma, asking if they could forward on the question. Of course, given when he retired, he'd be in his 80's, and I'd be asking him to try to remember a trivial detail from a short story he wrote 50 years ago. So I'm not that optimistic that we'd find out anything, but it still might be worth it.

Jim
2012-Mar-30, 12:06 PM
Do it, Grey. I would think he'd be thrilled that we're discussing him, his work, and that phrase, and asking him for clarification. I'm willing to bet he'll remember it. Think about the noteriety if he did coin it.

Grey
2012-Mar-30, 01:20 PM
Do it, Grey. I would think he'd be thrilled that we're discussing him, his work, and that phrase, and asking him for clarification. I'm willing to bet he'll remember it. Think about the noteriety if he did coin it.I couldn't resist either. Yesterday I sent an e-mail message to Laura Von Wallmenich, the current chair of the Alma College English department, explaining what we were curious about, and asking if she'd be willing to forward the question on to Prof. Wegner. I am hopeful that English professors would be exactly the sort of folks that would be happy to spend way too much time exploring the origin of an unusual expression. :)

profloater
2012-Mar-30, 04:49 PM
While Grey is researching those nineyards I am reminded of a similar pair of expressions possibly both linked to Montague Burton the Tailor. " Going for a Burton" is ascribed by some to the fact that pilots killed in WW2 were buried in civvy suits supplied by Burtons and "the full Monty" was applied to a three piece suit also supplied by them (Monty Burton) as required for weddings. Both UK expressions and the origin contested in both cases.

selden
2012-Mar-30, 05:36 PM
My personal preferred theory is that it's going to turn out to be something that an author made up for a fictional story just because it sounded good, and people began using it after reading the story just because it sounded good. There never was any real-life literal meaning to the expression.

I, of course, have no evidence to support this theory. I just like it. :)

There certainly are other popular phrases with that kind of history. My favorite is "May you live in interesting times," which is *not* an ancient Chinese curse.

SeanF
2012-Mar-30, 07:39 PM
There certainly are other popular phrases with that kind of history. My favorite is "May you live in interesting times," which is *not* an ancient Chinese curse.
It's theorized that the expression "to have cold feet" changed from its original meaning of being broke (e.g., unable to afford shoes) to its current meaning of having second thoughts or becoming timid due to its usage in a story - a character dropped out of a poker game because he was having second thoughts about the stakes of the game, but he claimed "cold feet."

Trebuchet
2012-Mar-31, 12:46 AM
Drifting ever further off topic (this is "Off Topic Babbling", after all) how about "bought the farm"? I always figured that meant when someone died the insurance paid off the mortgage but have no idea if that's correct.

Paul Beardsley
2012-Mar-31, 06:40 AM
Drifting ever further off topic (this is "Off Topic Babbling", after all) how about "bought the farm"? I always figured that meant when someone died the insurance paid off the mortgage but have no idea if that's correct.

I thought it was a reference to one of Jesus's parables. The Kingdom of Heaven is like... finding some gold buried in a field, so you buy the field. It probably isn't the origin, though.

TJMac
2012-Mar-31, 02:40 PM
Drifting ever further off topic (this is "Off Topic Babbling", after all) how about "bought the farm"? I always figured that meant when someone died the insurance paid off the mortgage but have no idea if that's correct.

I somehow got the impression that it meant you just bought a small plot of land for your very own, so to speak. I heard it first in a Heinlein book (Starship Troopers?), and at the time I was reading it, that was my own personal understanding. I really don't know if that's what it actually refers to.

TJ

SeanF
2012-Mar-31, 06:14 PM
According to my afore-mentioned favorite site (http://www.word-detective.com/back-e.html):


The phrase arose during the Second World War among U.S. combat pilots, many of whom dreamt of surviving the war and buying a small farm on which to retire to a life of peace. When a pilot failed to return from a mission, he was said, with the dark humor common in war zones, to have finally "bought the farm."

Solfe
2012-Mar-31, 07:52 PM
I first heard "bought the farm" in a book about military aviators. The usage seemed to imply that the aviator who crashed, "Bought the farm" he crashed into. The government would pay the farmer for damages.

swampyankee
2012-Apr-01, 06:40 PM
I first heard "bought the farm" in a book about military aviators. The usage seemed to imply that the aviator who crashed, "Bought the farm" he crashed into. The government would pay the farmer for damages.

My father claimed that it was that you got a patch of ground 5 ft by 10 ft by 6 ft deep: a graveyard plot.

BigDon
2012-Apr-06, 01:16 PM
a graveyard plot.

AKA a worm farm!