Adages and Word Stuff

This morning I woke up thinking about my dad and some of the things he said to his kids. The one on my mind today was what he would say when, as a teenager, I dressed up to go someplace. If he thought I looked particularly nice he would say, “She looks like she just stepped out of a bandbox, but I wonder what the bandbox she just stepped out of looks like. 

This was Dad’s way of saying, “You look nice, but your room had better also look nice.

“Me” All Gussied Up

A No-No Room

I’ve often wondered where Dad came up with his expressions and have to assume he knew many things because he was so widely read. At any rate, my research provided the following information about the origin of the bandbox saying.

“The bands in question here are entirely unmusical. They were clerical bands -- the little square linen tippet worn around the neck by ministers, especially those of the Presbyterian faith. So the 'bandbox' was a box in which clergymen kept their vestments, which were invariably spotless and neatly pressed. And a person looking as if he had just stepped out of a bandbox was neat, spruce(d) and spotless." From "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).

Dad's use of idioms, metaphors, adages, parables, aphorisms, puns, analogies, and proverbs likely helped to boost the language score on my the college entrance examination.

I’m a forever grateful daughter!

ClipArt and Photo from MyCuteGaphics & PinToPin


Pneumatic Stuff

When I was a kid, I often lived in my own little world inside of my head. This probably explains why visits to the J. C. Penney Store with my mama had me daydreaming about a new way to travel.

At the J.C. Penney, after Mama handed her money to the clerk (now known as a “sales associate”), the money and the bill of sale were placed in a small canister.

Subsequently, the canister was closed and inserted into a tube. With a whooshing sound, the canister disappeared into the unknown. Soon the canister returned and the clerk retrieved the correct amount of change to give to Mama.

This dreamer wondered how cool it might be to get into a kid-sized canister and go to wherever canisters go. It’s apparent that the creators of the Jetsons read my mind. (At least Ms. Jetson did not stamp, “Do Not Return” on the kid. That might have happened to me on select days at our house.)

My research has uncovered the fact that I was not the only one who dreamed of human travel in pneumatic tubes. Much before my time, visionaries formulated and tested an innovative plan for pneumatic travel.  Click Link for Story 

Recently, my dreams and the dreams of those before me were realized with the testing a modern-day pneumatic people-mover.

Because of the length of the testing tube was relatively short, the desired potential of 700 mph could not be achieved. The speed was just 70 mph.

So today I’m thinking about the greatness I might have achieved had I become an engineer rather than a teacher. This would be a good day to learn about the successes and achievements of some of my students.