Next Noble Pen Meeting
July 26th, 2018 at 7 pm
1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids
What story scared you the most? Several authors answer.
The bake shop will sell your book. Ask Ciuin for details.
Ciuin wrote more on CM.
Many words and phrases linger in English but have become idiom because their original meaning is obsolete. Everybody knows the phrase “carbon copy,” but how many have actually used carbon paper to make a copy? For a writer, it’s a tradeoff between using phrases that carry a sense of the past versus losing readers who don’t have that history.
Someone may say they were “hung out to dry” if left alone to face a problem, but how many have hung out clothes to dry on a clothesline? Who has actually heard a “broken record” on the phonograph?Have you bought anything that was “a dime a dozen” recently? “Don’t touch that dial,” but do you have a radio or TV upon which you can actually turn a dial? Is it bigger than a bread box?
Many other phrases never had a literal interpretation, but convey a sense of the past to those old enough to remember their use. Life used to be “swell”, but when’s the last time anything was swell, cool, far out, or neato? Gee whillikers! Can you dig it?
There are more of these old expressions “than Carter had liver pills”. “Kilroy was here”, but he isn’t anymore. This is a fine kettle of fish! Do you look “like the wreck of the Hesperus” when you get up? Heavens to Betsy! I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! Holy moley!
You can’t bring those days back, not for all the tea in China, but you can remind people of them by using them when writing a story set in the past. Just be careful not to lose the younger readers who aren’t familiar with them. See ‘ya later, alligator! Catch ya’ on the flip side.