WITandWISDOM™ - E-zine

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WITandWISDOM(tm) - September 20, 2005
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

I went out to find a friend,
But couldn't not find one there.
I went out to be a friend,
And friends were everywhere.

Source: The Funnies, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/andychaps_the-funnies


On October 27, 1728, a boy was born to James and Grace Cook in a mud-and-thatch hatch hovel—a structure known as a "biggin"—in Yorkshire, England. Farm animals wandered in and out of the hut's two small rooms. Sacking spread on the dirt floor kept down the damp and odor.

The prospects for the baby, James, were bleak. Four siblings perished by the age of 5 and a brother died at 23. Cook's father was a day laborer. close to the bottom runs' of the social strata. Public education didn't exist; James Cook seemed destined to a tightly confined life of a day's walk in radius, and the well-trod loop of home, field, church, and finally, a crowded family grave plot.

But James Cook exploded the cycle. Escaping to sea as a teenager, he worked his way to the upper reaches of the naval hierarchy and won election to the Royal Society, the pinnacle of London's intellectual establishment. His greatest feat, however, was the three epic voyages of discovery he made in his 40s.

When Cook embarked on his first voyage in 1768, about a third of the world's map remained blank. People speculated that a large, lush continent existed in the Southern hemisphere to "balance" the land masses of the north. Cook sailed into this void and returned three years later with charts so accurate that some of them were still used in the
1990s. On the two later voyages Cook explored from the Arctic to the Antarctic and from the northwest shore of America to the far northeast coast of Siberia. He covered an astonishing 140 degrees of latitude, from 70 degrees south to 70 degrees north. By the time he died Cook had sailed more than 200,000 miles, all in a small wooden ship.

Source: Adventist Review, ISSN 0161-1119, (c) May 12, 2005, http://www.adventistreview.org/

Submitted by Mary Thayne

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

I came across this phrase in a book yesterday - "fender skirts". Thinking about "fender skirts" started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice.

Like "curb feelers" and "steering knobs." Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first. Any kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms to you.

Remember "Continental kits?" They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.

And when did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with "emergency brake."

I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the "foot feed."

Didn't you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home, so you could ride the "running board" up to the house?

Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore - "store-bought." Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.

"Coast to coast" is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term "world wide" for granted. This floors me.

On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes. In the '50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure. (Because you had to wash them, take off the old wax, wash them again and then put on new wax. Plus you had to move all of the furniture before you could do this. They were a lot of hard work.)

When's the last time you heard the quaint phrase "in a family way?" It's hard to imagine that the word "pregnant" was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company. So we had all that talk about stork visits and being in a family way" or simply "expecting."

Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer in usage. I said it the other day and my daughter cracked up. I guess it's just "bra" now "Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all.

I always loved going to the "picture show," but I considered "movie" an affectation.

Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure-'60s word I came across the other day - "rat fink." Ooh, what a nasty put-down!

Here's a word I miss - "percolator." That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? Coffeemaker." How dull. Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this.

I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like "DynaFlow" and "Electrolux." Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!"

Food for thought - Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening their kids with castor oil anymore.

Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most "supper." Now everybody says "dinner." Save a great word. Invite someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts.

Someone forwarded this to me. I thought some of us of a "certain age" would remember most of these.

Just for fun, Pass it along to others of "a certain age"

Submitted by Orvie Jensen


The cleverest vanity license I think I have ever seen read:

("I water ski")

It was spotted on a vehicle in South Carolina.

Submitted by Bill Blake, Asheville, NC

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

I recently found out about this neat website where you can upload you favorite pictures and turn them into stamps!


It is a bit expensive but it is a great way to announce the birth of a baby or send cards for special occasions to make them even more special.

Submitted by Darlene Hildebrandt

WITandWISDOM™ - E-zine