…from obsolete technologies. I liked the long list of phrases that were originally nautical from the British Navy.
I’m getting very irritated by sites that don’t let you see their content unless you give them your Facebook or other information…
I recall the 8 inch disk as being called a “Floppy Disk” because of its obvious characteristics. That name stuck as the density shrank the format.
Yes, the 5.25″ was also floppy, but the 3.5″ was not (in a rigid case.)
I was told that since the medium in the case wasn’t rigid the term still applied. <shrug>
What McGehee said was my understanding as well.
I didn’t agree with that long list of typesetting terms; other than “mind your p’s and q’s”, very few of those items are used in everyday vernacular. Seemed like someone who really had a thing for typsetting wanting to show off…
I didn’t agree with that long list of typesetting terms
Well, Johnny B, you used both “upper case” and “lower case” type in your sentence written in a “font” that looks like Arial. The spacing between the lines of “type” is called “leading” which is a variable offered in most word processors. Although your post has a ragged-right edge, it could have been “justified” (say, in a word processor) in which case every line (except for possibly the last one) would have the same length. And to allow the type to appear aesthetic during justification, the characters can be “kerned” which is varying the space between the characters in addition to varying the space between the words. Now let’s consider “dingbats” : )
Clarification: the type face looks like Arial when composing it, but appears as Times Roman when published.
Even my friends who are designers don’t use “leading”, “kerning”, or “justified” in their daily speech, other than actual shop talk; I’m pretty sure that the phrase “he really kerned those cars into that driveway” has never actually been uttered from a human’s mouth.
The question posed was about “common everyday phrases”. Most people don’t even know what “kerning” is, let alone use it in their daily speech the way phrases, “the whole nine yards”, “cart before the horse”, etc. are used.
“Upper case” and “lower case” may be used in daily conversation, and they have an interesting origin, but the inclusion in that posting of the words “kerning”, “justifying”, and body size” are nothing more than straight definitions of typography terms.
So, these type setting terms are more technical jargon than everyday phrases. Point taken. But I guess what made these terms somewhat relevant to the discussion is that they appear today in every computer application that has anything to do with type. Although I grant you that kerning is pretty esoteric.
My favorite is “Give it the whole nine yards.” This is one that everyone knows, but most have no clue of its origin. Is it a football term? No. There are no “nine yard” anythings in football. Could it be a nautical term from sailing ships that had nine yard arms (three masts with three yardarms each)? No. How about a cement truck that carries nine cubic yards of concrete? No. I ultimately learned the answer while watching a documentary about WWI. The invention of the machine gun required the bullets to carried on a belt so they could be automatically fed into the gun. Guess the length of that belt. . . You got it, nine yards. So when they said, “Give it the whole nine yards” they meant empty the magazine–give it everything you’ve got.
I knew you’d like that article.
Except that, A: “whole nine yards” was never used in print until the 1950s, and B: the common belt-fed machine guns of WWI all used approximately five-yard belts. And in case anyone is wondering, no common WWII machine gun used a nine-yard belt either, particularly not the ones on US fighter airplanes.
Your second sentence, at least, is almost perfectly correct. It would be improved by eliminating the word “most”.
“The chief lighting technician is a “Gaffer” …”
How things have changed. Today the definition of this word is: Joe Biden.
Back when most of the population was almost completely innumerate, livestock transactions were done by herding the animals in question through a single point where one person, a mutually trusted party, would take a pebble from a pile as each animal went by and putting it in a bag. Once they had been counted, the seller would then match the pebbles against whatever quantity of goods he was getting in exchange, one by one. The Latin for “pebble” was “Calculus”. The person who kept track of the pebbles was the
“Calculator”. In old England the custom was for the person counting to call the count out as the animals passed by, and make a notch on a stick, which became the record of the transaction. The process was called “telling”, the person who called out was called the “teller”, and the stick was called the “tally”. Bank tellers still “tell” when they count the bills out loud when you withdraw cash.
Regarding “the whole nine yards” and machine gun belts, IIRC the best explanation is not from WWI or from fighter aircraft in WWII; it’s from WWII bombers.
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