Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tired Phrases

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Today’s Blog Post

Tired Phrases
I think that this happens to me when I carve wood. As a wood carver I think. I spend huge amount of time just thinking as the chips fly.

As I mulled over my thoughts yesterday I arrived at an odd part of my brain that contains things that should be cleaned out and done away with. There are boxes full of stuff that should be thrown away… but they have never been dealt with.

At one time I used these things but in today’s society there is little use for them. At one time these things were the rage. Everyone used them – even you!

What in the world are you talking about Murray?

Well let’s open one of your boxes and you will find that you have not used these for a long time. In fact when you look at them you will find that most people today, especially the next generation will not know what the dickens you are talking about.

Box Number One
Flip open the flaps… and here it is… “Let’s break this down to the lowest common denominator…”

Now when was the last time you used that phrase or maybe have heard someone use that phrase?

For myself, it was my grade 10 era. I was about 16 years old and my Chemistry teacher used it all the time. The phrase I doubt had anything to do with Chemistry but a whole lot to do with Math.

Checking my Wikipedia I find that there are 211 related posts for this old phrase. I find that it is a phrase that has continued to grow… but it is solidly from the Math World.

Here is an example… quote…
In mathematics, the lowest common denominator or least common denominator (abbreviated LCD) is the least common multiple of the denominators of a set of vulgar fractions. It is the smallest positive integer that is a multiple of the denominators. For instance, the LCD of 5/12, 11/18 is 36 because the least common multiple of 12 and 18 is 36. Likewise the LCD of 5/6, 1/4 is 12. Using the LCD (or any multiple of it, such as the product of the denominators) as a denominator enables addition, subtraction or comparison of fractions:
5/5 minus 1/4 = 10/12 minus 3/12 = 7/12

The lowest common denominator of two vulgar fractions can be found by calculating the least common multiple of their denominators.
End quote.(see the link below)

But when my one friend stated that, “…we needed to get to the lowest common denominator on this problem…” He wasn’t talking about a Math problem.

Most of the readers of this Blog today now have a real time head ache just reading the quote above.

Ready for Box Number Two?
Open the flaps and there it is… “talking about peeling back the layers”

Wikipedia offers 325 possible places where this term is used by one of the posts made on their site.

It is an old phrase for sure. Doing a Google search on this phrase produces 102,000 response in .38 seconds.

It is interesting that this one has morphed into so many uses today. What was old has become new. Originally starting with an Onion from what I can understand, has now become part of the even SEO in writing Web Pages(the hidden use of words to get more people to your site or article).

It is also used in describing “Love” – really!

Ready for Box Number Three?
Shake the dust off this one… “knocking down facades”.

Hokey Mokey this one is older than all the rest in my mind and very hard to find a root for it. It goes way back to the Greeks I think.

A facade was the false front on a building making it look like something it is not.

In California we visited one of the Movie Lots – where they make movies. The entire lot was filled with Facades of all sorts… specially the Wild Western sets. The gun fighters burst out of buildings to shoot each other… and it looked so real. The building they burst out of was about 12 inches deep.

But then most of the movie actors specialize in portraying a façade of one thing or another. Their clothing and an attitude shown at that moment made you think they were tough guys… when in actual fact they were a pussy.

In church today I will see some facades as well. Ahem… and I will show some on mine off as well. It will look like I am praying when I am really… ooops that was secret!

Ready for Box Number Four?
This one is a dusty one and goes way back. Here it is, “sifting through the nonsense”.

Now I am surrounded by nonsense. It is in the news all the time. Each morning I can read of one kind of nonsense or another. But sifting it – why and how would I do that?

Well it first happened for me when I was a very young boy.

My mom had a huge Flower Bin in the Kitchen Cupboard. In the bin was the white flour that she baked with.

Pause there… that idea of a dedicated draw in a Kitchen Cupboard is so 1950-ish! Whoever has that now?!?

In Mom’s Flour Bin was a sifter. It had a handle that I held with my left hand and turning crank that I spun around with my right hand. When the crank was turned the flour that had been scooped up in the sieve was released as a fine powder through a wire sieve into the bowl below.

Why would you ever do that? Isn’t that a waste of time and effort in 2011?

Not really. In 1950 it was common to have little black bugs get into the flour. Their eggs came in the flour from the Flour Mill and then hatched in your Flour Bin. Sifting the Flour got rid of the Bugs. Their eggs were likely still there… but it was the black bodies that we didn’t like in our white cake… the eggs were okay.

So when someone asks me or tells me that they are going to sift through the nonsense, I am expecting that they will go through every thing with a fine tooth comb…

“Going through something with a Fine Tooth Comb” had references to finding the Nits in your child’s of husband’s hair – Nits were the eggs of the Head Lice that was so easy to get at school or work and were attached to the shaft of hair. Itchy yet?

That phrase was filed in the same Box Number Four

Let’s look at Box Number Five – ready?
There it is… the vegetarians can’t use this one… it is all mine… a card carrying, meat loving wretched person that I am (in their eyes)..

What do you think of “simply expose the raw bones of an issue”?

Get my reference to Vegetarians? Their Veggies don’t have bones… and you can’t see anything inside… except vegetables.

Having a raw bone inside tells you if the animal was wounded or not before you cooked it.

The last time I saw this evidence of a raw bone was at Swiss Chalet. The chicken leg I was gnawing on was broken sometime before the chicken was murdered for my plate. There had been a bleed out around the broken bone area of her poor little leg… and the bone was mush.

Worse yet… come to think of it… it might well have had a serious Cancer in that old leg… and I ate it!!!! YUCK! Spit and blow… yuck, yuck, yuck!

When I “simply expose the raw bones of an issue” I am beside myself how that will help me to get to the heart of it all?

I am not a butcher. The last White Tailed Deer I murdered was my responsibility to carve up. It was hard as I distinctly remember having two Deer in my gun site… a little one and big one… and I pulled the trigger to blast away the big one. The Big One was a female… likely Bambi’s mommy… and when mommy dropped… Bambi, her baby jumped back into the bush for safety. Mommy was dead…

Good gracious I feel terrible now. What a downer. When I get down to simply expose the raw bones of an issue… I am not a hunter. I am an excellent shot but a lousy hunter.

I think I will eat some Veggies today.

As I am going through the old and out of date Phrases in my dusty old boxes… I have realized one thing… I am good at scrabble and games that use Phrases.

So now that we looked at some of your old memories, your old cool way of talking… do you think your grand children will think you are totally out to lunch and/or completely off the wall?

I think that mine already think that I am nuttier than a fruitcake anyway.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


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