Thursday, June 3, 2010

Burro Milk and Scary Little Girls

258. Things from 1960 That Are Hard to Find Today
Burma Shave signs

Working at a publishing company means I often come in contact with various sources to aid in writing. (Duh.) Recently I was looking for synonyms, antonyms, and analogies of different words for a game we were creating. I hunted around the dusty shelves and found a series of books called, The [insert subject] Teacher's Book of Lists. There is a book for reading, science, math, ESL, and Social Studies. I looked through all of them for different words, and ended up using the reading teacher's book the most. However, perusing the Social Studies teacher book was the most fun. It not only contains lists of historical events, but also psychological and sociological lists as well.

For example, in the Sociology section:

257. Things Not Around in 1960
(from a list of over 130 items)

bar codes
Zip codes
cubic zirconium
911 emergency number
non-smoking sections
seat belts
smoke detectors
two-liter soda bottles
Department of Education
DNA fingerprinting

234. Cowboy Slang

Slang: Meaning
Arkansas toothpick: long knife
nutcrackers: teeth
wallow in velvet: to be wealthy
pearl diver: dishwasher
burro milk: nonsense!
idiot stick: a shovel
eatin' irons: knives, forks, spoons
fodder forker: farmer
salty dog: someone who does a good job
belly-wash: weak coffee

From the Psychology Section:

286. Phobias

Phobia: Abnormal fear of...
scriptophobia: writing in public
aulophobia: flutes
geumophobia: flavors
hedonophobia: sunlight
parthenophobia: little girls
heliophobia: pleasure
phronemophobia: thinking
ombrophobia: rain
gamophobia: marriage
bymnophobia: nudity
blennophobia: slime
leukophobia: the color white

299. Early Treatments for Mental Illness

lowering the afflicted into snake pits
copious bleeding
tossing the afflicted from high cliffs
hot irons applied to the head
spinning in a centrifuge
trephining (boring a hole in the skull)

These are just partial lists; most of them are quite long.

The book was published in 1992, and I would love to see the newest edition, reprinted in 2003. I noticed the author added some categories, such as and 311. Candy Consumption in the U.S., 405. Fizzled Fashion Fads, and 442. Famous Twins. Now if I can just rationalize to my boss why we need the updated version...

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