Back in the day, the way Americans talked was somehow jazzier, funnier, saucier. They salted their conversations with figures of speech, idiomatic expressions, old sayings, bits of slang and songs that I later learned at my mother’s knee (she is now 95 years old) and from countless black and white gangster and detective movies, screwball comedies, and melodramas that filled the pre-cable TV airways of my childhood.
Now, thinking about it, it seemed everyone – my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents—shared these phrases. They were the words that helped them understand the world, made them laugh and helped get them through The Roaring Twenties, The Great Depression, World War II, and even the conformity/prosperity of the fifties.
But these expressions are fading away. Sure, a lot of them are so grounded in the past, in a particular time and place and culture, that it really doesn’t make sense to use them anymore. But what is sad is there is nothing to replace them with. Twitter speak? Soon-to-be-forgotten catchphrases from the latest TV show or commercial?
So think of this blog as a Word Museum.
It’s a place where viewers can come in, view and appreciate artifacts, and learn something about how a group of Americans, who are disappearing themselves, expressed themselves in a special way.