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Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





An entire subplot of ANNIE HALL is the character who is a doctor and every time he changes location he calls into his service and says he'll be at XX phone number until 5 and then XX phone number until 7, make it 7:45, and on and on. It's a big running gag and modern audiences may not realize that this is literally the only way his practice could get hold of him in an emergency. Like, he's obsessive, but it's an exaggeration of a very real behavior.

Along those lines, nobody under 50 gets the bit where Woody Allen says "I have Marshall McLuhan right here..." and pulls the media theorist into a line to explain that somebody has misunderstood his book.

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Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Sorry, Wrong Number revolves around a woman who picks up her phone, gets "crossed wires", and overhears part of a telephone call in which two men plot to murder an unnamed woman.

I think all the cries of "Hold the front page!" probably don't make sense to people who don't know about physical printing, and that it is possible to change just one two-sided (technically four, both sides of the piece that folds over to become the front and back pages) of the paper while leaving the rest untouched. And how many years has it been since there was an extra edition of the newspaper, which is to say one that is brought out mid-day with special content on the front page?

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Long-distance calls being a big deal. If somebody called you long-distance, especially during the day rather than the cheaper evening/weekend hours, something really serious was going on.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





A White Guy posted:

Roughly 18 million Americans served in all three wars, which drove a tremendous expansion in the number of people who would go to a VFW hall. While I doubt the VFW will disappear altogether (as we're still fighting many, many smaller wars in other places), the number of people available to go to the VFW bar continues to plummet year by year.
There was also the generation gap: a lot of returning Vietnam vets felt unwelcome in VFW halls. Those hippies with their long hair and their etcetera etcetera.

Men's clubs of all sorts (Masons, Elks, Odd Fellows) are having a really hard time recruiting younger blood. tTere was an insurance fraud suit against the Knights of Columbus, claiming they were exaggerating their membership to keep their insurance line alive. In old movies from the '30s, '40s, there are "civic boosters" who are literally traveling to raise the importance of their city (okay, to get drunk and wave signs around.) They show up in comedy train scenes. I don't know the sociological changes that killed them off.

When I was growing up, Mom was a librarian and Dad taught computer science. The note cards by the phone were the backs of discarded catalog cards; our shopping lists were punch cards with not too many holes in them, held up by a binder clip. (Parents were Depression babies. Cleaning out their house was an unfun trip.) Neither of those are in common use.

And I'm sure it comes up every five pages, but "the rabbit died". In the rabbit test, you injected a woman's urine into a rabbit, then killed it and checked how big its ovaries were. If they'd gotten larger, the woman was pregnant. "The rabbit died" was shorthand for "I'm/she's pregnant", even though the rabbit always died. Note that "pregnant" was not a word you could use in polite conversation as late as the 1950s; the "I Love Lucy" episode in which Lucy announces an impending baby was officially titled "Lucy Is Enceinte", sending thousands in bafflement to their dictionaries.

e: My newest two credit cards came without the bumpy surface that let you roll an impressing machine over a multiple-copy form. I actually checked out using one of those machines sometime in the last couple of years, because the power was out. When I was a kid, when you used a credit card, the clerk pulled out three or four little booklets of stolen/fraudulent numbers and looked the number up in each of them.

Arsenic Lupin fucked around with this message at 22:43 on Jul 7, 2020

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Ooh! Thanks. I remember hearing about it, but never read it.

"I think this is where I came in", together with "Nobody will be seated during the last ten minutes of the movie!" Used to be you didn't look up showtimes, you just went to the movies. It was normal to buy a ticket, walk in any time, sit through whatever part of the movie was playing, the shorts, the funnies, and then watch the movie up until the time you'd already seen, when you left. This viewing habit features a lot in old movies, when the fleeing protagonist goes into a movie theater to hide from the pursuers.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





I was thinking the same thing! IIRC, bills weren't even the same size as they are today; I forget where the dividing line was.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





postmodifier posted:

the shift from big bills to small format was in late 1928, 1929, and coincided with the shift from grover cleveland on the 20 to jackson, so it would have even had the correct portrait!

Ooh, how cool to know! Thanks! I do maintain that the difference between a Mercury dime and a Roosevelt one is pretty hard to miss; a used silver dime looks softer than a used zinc-alloy-or-whatever-it-is-now dime.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





postmodifier posted:

Fact of the matter is most people just don't care or aren't paid enough to look at what they're being handed at the point of sale.
Cashiers can get into deep trouble if they're accepting too much counterfeit money. Not with the feds, but with management.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Xiahou Dun posted:

You have to hunt for the outliers like Edwardian England among the upper-classes.
Edwardian England among the upper-classes was notorious for tolerated adultery, among both (at the time) sexes. "A heir and a spare", and after that nobody looked too closely at the eye colors of any subsequent children. One of the things a hostess at a country house did was try to put extra-marital couples' rooms near each other to lessen the risk of the wrong people bumping into each other in the hall in the middle of the night.

I'm surprised that the course on the history of American sexuality didn't cover Puritan New England; this paper estimates " The overall percentage of marriages involving premarital fornication for the twenty-one year period is 11%. ". (Based on some presuppositions laid out in the paper.)

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





There's a gorgeous Jim Croce song called "Operator" about a guy trying to call his girlfriend and talking to the long-distance operator about the relationship; "you can keep the dime" refers, of course, to the money he put in the pay phone.

quote:

Operator, well let's forget about this call
There's no one there I really wanted to talk to
Thank you for your time, ah, you've been so much more than kind
And you can keep the dime

There's a great Kinky Friedman song, Western Union Wire, about a telegram; it depends on your knowing that telegrams had STOP at the end of each sentence.

quote:

It said, from Billy, at the bottom,
To Baby, at the top
Western Union Wire PLEASE HELP ME STOP
Western Union Wire DON'T LEAVE ME STOP

Final chorus:
It said, from Billy, at the bottom,
To Baby, at the top
Western Union Wire DON'T LEAVE ME STOP
AH YOU SAID YOU'D ALWAYS LOVE ME HOW COULD YOU STOP
IN PIECES ON THE RUNWAY I LOVE YOU STOP

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Mister Kingdom posted:

Then there's "Western Union" - a 60s classic:

Man, sending a breakup note collect. Harsh.

"Telegraphic" as a synonym for "shortened" is something, too. Textspeak is similar but not the same. The legend goes that a press agent once wired Cary Grant.

HOW OLD CARY GRANT

Grant replied

OLD CARY GRANT FINE HOW YOU

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





This isn't actually media, but.

My daughter's charming 20th-century apartment has a small open arch in the wall between the kitchen and the living room. They thought it was a food pass-through, but my husband took one look and said "It has a phone jack." I had to explain to my daughter that the phone company charged you extra for each phone handset in the house, so putting a phone in a passthrough arch meant you could answer phone calls from both the kitchen and the living room.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





The entire musical Bells are Ringing. The heroine works taking phone messages for people, and falls in love with one of her invisible clients.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVEOg_ZW1Zw

Arsenic Lupin fucked around with this message at 16:41 on Jul 25, 2020

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





neaden posted:

Speaking of music, the bazooka is an instrument, kind of like a trombone. The anti tank weapon resembles one, so got nicknamed bazooka. Now the nickname is far more popular then the reference.

Holy cow. The Wiki article has a picture, btw. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bazooka_(instrument)

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





wesleywillis posted:

No.
Up till probably the mid 90s most cars had separate keys for door and ignition.
Ignition and trunk, yes. Door and ignition, no. Source: Been driving since 1975, did a fast Google.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





JnnyThndrs posted:

Almost all GM-built vehicles up to the mid-Nineties-ish used a round key for trunk/doors and a square key for the ignition.

Source: Iím a mechanic and have had to deal with approximately three zillion car keys, plus I owned several mid-Nineties GM products, God help me.

I will be dogged. Thanks for the info. Wow, I bet that was annoying on a winter's day.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Gnoman posted:

Highlights For Children, including Goofus and Gallant, is still going. Magazines in general just aren't as common as they once were.

I am older than Olduvai dirt, but I saw Highlights for Children only at dentists' and doctors' offices. Maybe doctors and dentists have wised up?

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





See also "Film at 11", meaning that right now we're telling you about it, but we'll have actual footage after we've had time to print and edit it.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





stratdax posted:

Your dad is right. People get in their cars and google maps their way to work, where they go every day. Ask somebody to drive to their friends house without a gps and they have no idea.
It's amazing how quickly you get to know the city if you stop gpsing everything and actually pay attention to the signs and where you're going.
I used to reliably get lost coming home from work, and I mean for years. From my perspective, I remember landmarks very clearly, but I don't remember what order they come in. "Oh, right, there's that service station. Does it mean I've gone too far, or does it mean I haven't reached my exit yet?" GPS has made it possible for me to get places on time and unruffled.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





BonHair posted:

My wife grew up sailing, and she insists on knowing and using cardinal directions all the time. It's really dumb, because the sensible thing is to use towards/away from city center and/or a relevant neighborhood of the city.

I am lucky to live on a peninsula, because when in doubt I ask myself, "Toward the bay or toward the ocean?"

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Xiahou Dun posted:

In Chinese you have to use different grammatical words for nouns based off of their shapes and other qualities. So you can't say "this table", its "this [grammatical marker for flat objects] table". So like there's one for people, another for round things, one for animals, etc.

Then it gets insane and there's like one for tears and three different ones for beards and one that can also be used for people in addition to pigs and coffins. Or the one just for wells.

Awesome. Thank you. Borges was right!. IIRC he always claimed that his translator had found it in an actual Chinese work, but I'm skeptical.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Son of a Vondruke! posted:

I've seen plenty of fruitcakes. Someone in my family usually gets one for Christmas. I have never seen one actually opened and consumed. They just get put in a drawer for a while then eventually thrown away.
Not only have I eaten fruitcake, my mom made a weird Texas version that had frosting.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





BlankSystemDaemon posted:

It dates back to the 60s, as far as I know.
IBM used to include pocket protectors as a value-add, and that might be why the maintainers of the mainframes back then started using them - and since those maintainers probably qualify as what we'd call nerds nowadays, I imagine that's where it came from.

My husband used to carry Rapidograph technical pens in his pocket. They are not meant to be carried in a pocket, because they have pointy pointy tips full of liquid ink (ball-point pens use gel) You need a pocket protector for those puppies, and if you carried Rapidographs, you were an engineer or an architect.

I thought of a fairly obscure one. This was from a standup video in the '80s, maybe Carlin? The setup was that a guy made his sandals out of old car tires (huh? one). The punchline was that he died because he was running around a curve on the mountain, and his tires were made by Goodrich, and they blew up (huh? two).

e: In the US, there are actually two meanings for isinglass. One of them is the fish stuff, one of them is sheets of mica. Isinglass windows are the latter. .Ebay seller selling off NOS isinglass.

ee:

Xiahou Dun posted:

For my sins I once went to theater school and a class made me watch the whole of Oklahoma! 3 times so it's burned into my brain and I basically have the Great American Songbook version of PTSD and can never forget a single line. There are worse things, of course, but it's not fun.
I played in the pit band for "Li'l Abner". I have known Hell.

Arsenic Lupin fucked around with this message at 20:58 on Feb 4, 2021

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





My kids heard a lot of Sondheim in the car. My son now refuses to go to musicals. Linked? I think not.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Hey, I remember "It's always September somewhere on the Internet."

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Cemetry Gator posted:

This is one of the few areas where I can thank God I'm an American because we used floppy disks.

The other was NTSC. Otherwise, it wasn't worth it.

I'm an American, but my father's personal computer had a cassette drive. Admittedly, it was an IMSAI 8080. You had to buy the cassette drive separately.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Vietnamwees posted:

So let me get this straight, your Dad not only had a computer that had an optional tape drive, but your Dad got it as well??
IIRC it was an adapter that supported your own cassette player, but it's been fifty years, so I rarely remember correctly. The thing I will never forget is flipping a program in using the switches on the front; you could choose to arrange the colors of the switches in either octal or bytes IIRC. (We didn't call them bytes then.) Anyway, it was a royal pain in the rear end and I only did it once.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Cobalt-60 posted:

SO many ads, and they're all TERRIBLE. How many drat prescription meds ARE there?

That was what everybody in the UK said about watching the Oprah interview.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





My college ring (came from the local jeweler, not Jostens) was a flat gold signet with the college crest engraved on it. I still wear it, because signet rings are nifty, and because you don't know what it is unless you look very closely indeed.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Cobalt-60 posted:

Has anyone here ever seen a physical face book?
Yup. My college handed them out. My roommate got invitations to host party freshman week because she looked so good in her face book (what it was called) photo.

However, I'm 61...

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





DACK FAYDEN posted:

Total derail but holy poo poo are you the oldest goon now that we banned the pedophile Chicago cop some years back?

Nah, I've seen some older ones here and there.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Blood Nightmaster posted:

Would not have guessed 61 from your userpic but now you've got me wondering how old the oldest Homestuck fan is/was

I thought I was ancient for it at 29 so god bless

Can't get that precise number, but there are at least 15 of us over 50. https://public.tableau.com/profile/makin.smith#!/vizhome/HomestuckCommunitySurvey2020FanCensus/HomestuckCommunitySurvey2020FanCensus

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Imagined posted:

Is that the life cycle of most references? To go from topical to obscure to utterly invisible, or even deeper, for the thing that started as a reference to eventually supplant the thing it was referencing, ala Foghorn Leghorn?
This is why Shakespeare needs footnotes. There are many, many * jokes that you don't have the context to get.

* dirty.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





How many Kids These Days know what "Nickelodeon" is a reference to?

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





I type very fast, but typing tests penalize you for making errors, so I'd score disastrously after years of riding the backspace key like it's a Hitachi wand.

Cobalt-60 posted:

Pre-paid phone cards; used to be they were sold everywhere. I had one I carried and recharged for years, so i could make pay phone phone calls without needing change, or call my friends without my parents asking questions about the bill.
Still are in neighborhoods with a big Hispanic population; I see ads for them all over windows. Wouldn't surprise me if the same were true for other immigrant populations.

CodfishCartographer posted:

Tangentially on topic, but I feel within the spirit of this thread: what are some jobs that don't exist anymore? It's interesting to think about professions that people devoted their lives to that are entirely irrelevant. Are operators still around?
There are multiple kinds of operator. Most of the "diagnose what's going wrong" can be done remotely nowadays, but somebody still needs to skate up and down the racks pulling bad boards, replacing memory, that kind of thing. (Probably pulling entire bad systems nowadays, just unracking them and sending them to the repair area.)

There was a good interview in the San Francisco Chronicle (sorry, I can't find it) with a former toll-taker on the Golden Gate Bridge. They'd been planning on shutting down all the manned tollbooths, but coronavirus sped that up. Nowadays the toll plazas just scan for your LastPass (local electronic toll-paying device) or, finding no LastPass, scan your license plate and send the toll to the address associated with that plate.

There used to be a service advertised at dry cleaners called "invisible mending" in which the mender unraveled threads from the side seams of your suit or jacket and used those threads to weave in and out of a hole/tear so that it looked just like the original fabric. Haven't seen those ads in a while.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





DACK FAYDEN posted:

These are back in style, weirdly enough - a vocal subset of (mostly old and wealthy) patients hate when doctors go "talk to you, look at computer" and would prefer talk to the doctor, have the doctor look at them while they talk back, and have insurance pay for a separate loving amanuensis like it's 1300 to type all the poo poo into Epic or whatever other EMR is being used.
I just saw an ophthalmologist (fortunately everything was fine) and she used dictation because it's hard to take notes when you have one eye glued to the retinascope or whatever it's called.

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Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Bucnasti posted:

When I was a kid that was a more recognizable trope then things like ninjas and samurai, but I haven't seen them portrayed in mainstream media since Brendan Fraisers first Mummy movie.
Maybe Gene Wilder was right when he did The Last Remake of Beau Geste. Seriously that plot hinges on the 'heroine' being a manipulative jerk, and the hero's protecting her from being prosecuted for her crime by nobly destroying his own life. Plus colonialism.

In 1966, Neil Simon, Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields, and Bob Fosse decided to make a musical based on a Fellini movie, Nights of Cabiria, about a happy-go-lucky and downtrodden prostitute. However, a musical about a prostitute was a bridge too far, so the heroine, Charity Hope Valentine, is a taxi dancer.

A what? You may ask. Well, back in the Barbary Coast days, when women were scarce, a bright soul had the idea of opening a dance hall where men bought drinks in order to dance with women. San Francisco passed a law forbidding alcohol from being sold at dance halls, so the dance halls rebranded to selling tickets to dance with women. The women were called "taxi dancers" because it was seen as like paying for a taxi. This spread across the country (ironically, San Francisco banned taxi dancing in 1921). Taxi dancers weren't sex workers, but they weren't not sex workers, either. Men (always men; women weren't admitted unless they were employees) paid to practice dancing, to have a friendly face to talk to, to rub off against, to make a date for later, all depending on the hall and the person. The Wikipedia writeup is great. Because taxi-dancing might be, but wasn't necessarily, deniable sex work, you could write titillating songs and movies about it; see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXcIEKyiAno "Ten Cents a Dance", as a song and a movie, and many others. In the dance hall, dancers stood behind a rope or a bar, enticing men to come and dance with them.

Now you know the basis behind "Hey, Big Spender". Ironically, taxi dance halls were pretty much dead by the time Sweet Charity premiered. Few people now living remember them, except as they showed up in songs and movies.

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