I don’t always understand the young generation.

In business conversation, they often talk too fast and I have to ask them to repeat. In restaurants the servers conclude taking my order with “perfect,” then give me the wrong salad dressing. I have to ask young cashiers to “say it again, please.” Now they’re trying to make me cash out at my table with one of those electronic things. Explanations on how to update my own computer go in one ear and out the other.

The problem, of course, is that I am handicapped. My hearing is OK, but the connection between the ear and the brain is wearing out from long use, so that the translation often shorts out. Young people won’t understand this until it happens to them years from now.

Many words and phrases of my era and before have fallen out of fashion. A friend recently sent me a list which I borrow in part for the enjoyment of those who can remember them and the puzzlement of those who weren’t born yet.

On top was “Do you remember the word Murgatroyd?” Anyone who watched the Yogi Bear Show in the mid-fifties will remember Snagglepuss, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character using “Heavens to Murgatroyd.”

Before that it was Heavens to Betsy, which was first used in the mid-1800s but no one can remember who Betsy was.  I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle. Gee Whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy Moley!

Recently, a lady said something to her grandson about driving a jalopy, and he looked at her quizzically and said “What is a jalopy?” He probably never heard of a runningboard or rumble seat either. “Turn on the starter” will soon go the way of “Crank ‘er up.”

Some old expressions and words have become obsolete because of the rapid march of technology. These included: Don’t touch that dial, carbon copy, you sound like a broken record and hung out to dry. We now have multitasking, artificial intelligence, meme and emoji.

I wonder how my high school English teacher would have handled this recent report from a newspaper business section:

“The app features a component called Netflix Living Room that activates a user interface designed for the virtual-reality headset. Members can get the Netflix experience on a virtual couch while wearing their VR headset.” 

Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We’d put on our best bib and tucker, to straighten up and fly right.

We were “In like Flynn” (although many didn’t know the source of that, we kids laughed in close company), and ‘Living the life of Riley.’ If you were a regular guy or gal, no one could accuse you of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill.  Now all the gals are guys, particularly students in the classroom or a group at a restaurant. 

Gender equality?

Back in the olden days, the wardrobe might include spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers.

Oh, my aching back! Kilroy was here (but he is not around anymore). Catch 22 may soon disappear along with “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,” or “This is a fine kettle of fish.” 

Both long gone are “pshaw, the milkman did it.” How about “It’s your nickel” (when double scoop ice cream and large candy bars cost 5 cents). “A penny for your thought?” Hardly worth it.

“Knee high to a grasshopper,” my grandma used to say about me, adding “Well, fiddlesticks!” Going like sixty used to be an expression of speed. I’ll see you in the funny papers was popular back when they were funny. Don’t take any wooden nickels and wake up and smell the roses! Okey-Dokey!

It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter had pills. Carter’s Little Liver Pills are gone too.

See ya later, alligator. 

After a while, crocodile. 

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