Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Flower Power – RETRO Wordplay Wednesday™ 09/19/18


Let Your Writing Blossom with Retro Fun 

The 1970s were terrifically prolific with slang! Oh, so many to choose from … Having lived through them while working at UC Berkeley, however, none stand out more than …

FLOWER POWER (flouʹɘr pouʹɘr) n. – a nonviolent ethic as advocated by hippies. Merriam-Webster.com [WW / RETRO #182]
Dictionary definition: again, no “official” dictionary definition, but the best slang rarely makes the tome’s pages, don’t you think?

Gaining momentum in the late 1960s, Flower Power truly defined the early 1970s. Throughout this turbulent decade of contrasts, the phrase personified a more peaceful movement, away from the ugliness of international wars and national strife.

Said to have originated in 1965 with American poet, Allen Ginsberg, Flower Power stemmed from his imagined world where peace and love would conquer conflicts. He, along with other free-thinking literary scholars led the advent of the beat generation, which fed into the Sixties’ hippies. Hence our rose-colored glasses of the 1970s.

Embodying all that is right in nature, flowers in all their vibrant colors, usually make people happy. How can we be mean and combative when given one, right? Great in theory.

The 1970s embraced Flower Power from its beginning (until it was trampled by Disco Duck in the latter part of the decade). But it wasn't until the spring of the '70s that Flower Power really blossomed in the pages of most major magazines. As with all things, it takes the mainstream a while to co-opt the culture of the trend makers. Once the Mad Men (and their clients) realized the selling power in groovy graphics...”

Together with Peace signs—cue two fingers to form a V—and psychedelic music, Flower Power tried valiantly to climb the “Stairway to Heaven” and change the world. Alas, we were too cynical, even for Hippies and powerful musicians.

However, Flower Power remains a fond symbol of a not-forgotten time when some at least tried to turn the world on its axis with “Make Love Not War.”

Word Challenge: FLOWER POWER. Whether you remember the 1970s or simply curious about them, give a pretty petunia to someone as you fit Flower Power into your week of blossoming writings.  

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

                       


LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series, available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon, … The Psychedelic Seventies!

E-N-Dzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Heavens to Murgatroyd! – Wordplay Wednesday™ 09/12/18


When #&*%$# Just Won’t Do 

And we’re back for another Wordplay Wednesday RETRO style! This week’s word rags on your memory sticks from the 1960s, as we explore fun and fascinating phrases from yesteryear.

Television shows and movies have inserted many fresh, fashionable, and fabulously zany new words and phrases into our collective vocabulary since the early 20th century.

The 1960s were especially prolific with slang and silly terms, like “Don’t go ape” (Don’t have a hissy fit!”), “Sock it to me,” popularized by Judy Carne on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, and "You've come a long way, baby!"*—a cigarette ad targeting women that endured to eschew cigarettes, and came to mean SO much more. (*Created by Leo Burnett Agency)
But whenever we found ourselves in a pickle, we often mimicked a certain crazy pink mountain lion from TV …

 
HEAVENS TO MURGATROYD! “… is American in origin and dates from the mid-20th century. The expression was popularized by the cartoon character Snagglepuss – a regular on the Yogi Bear Show in the 1960s …” [WW / RETRO #181]
Dictionary definition: Well, there isn’t one. But it was just too much fun to pass up. Snagglepuss also gave us “Exit, stage left,” and “Heavens to Betsy!”

There doesn’t seem to be a specific origin to the phrase, other than Snagglepuss’s uh-oh look at the camera, declaring Heavens to Murgatroyd! as he peddles his feet to escape imminent cartoon disaster.

When you’re feeling blue and need an attitude adjustment, think about your predicament and say out loud, “Well, Heavens to Murgatroyd! Now What?!” Bet you’ll come up with a smile and a plan.

Word Challenge: HEAVENS TO MURGATROYD! While those with the surname may not enjoy the silly phrase as much as the rest of us, hopefully they’ve learned to go with the flow. Laughing at ourselves is the best bad mood-buster of all, as you fit Heavens to Murgatroyd! into your week of goofy writings.  

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below. 

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle)   


@PenchantForPen


LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series, available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon, … The Psychedelic Seventies!

E-N-Dzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Clutched – RETRO Wordplay Wednesday™ 09/05/18


WW's big bro site logo: Blast from Your Past!
Wordplay Wednesday Goes Retro! 

I thoroughly enjoy bringing an obscure, long un-used, or confounding word to your already overloaded brains every week, but it’s time to tweak the weekly grind with a fun romp down Memory Lane.

For the whole month of September, we’ll explore words and phrases from yesteryear to play with the memories of Boomers and those holding on to 39 as long as possible. For the young’uns, it’ll probably be a humorous venture, at best.*

Every decade has its kitschy slang and funny fascination with skewed definitions, so each week we’ll explore a different decade: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, respectively, thanks to my cousin/best friend, Ron. It was his idea and while I’d love to hog the credit, he’d say, “I knew you’d do that.” So I’m proving him wrong. 😊

Feel free to tuck these vocabulary tidbits into a corner of your mind until the next time you make it a point to visit someone who will enjoy your newfound knowledge or rekindled memory. Make it a meaningful and fun way to connect!

Tickling your tranny from the Fabulous Fifties … since Ron is a classic car buff, we’re revving up this week’s retro word knowledge with …

CLUTCHED (kluch -ed) vi. – Rejected. [WW/RETRO-1 #180]
            Dictionary definition, in short: 1) to snatch or seize (at); 2) to engage the clutch of an automobile, etc.

Yup. When guys chatted in their bravado manner, common waaaaay back in the 1950s (think Grease, West Side Story, and The Godfather), they often used vehicle metaphors.

Now, we could hypothesize that they knew they were creating slang for a “real” word like discarded, disdained, or spurned; but if girls were around, using a car term also served to keep them from eavesdropping. Cars …engines … tires and clutches … grease … ewwww! We weren’t listening.

So poor jilted John boasted to Frank, “Yeah, man, at least I got to second base before I spent too much dough on her, and she clutched.” Granted, still not perfect grammar, but then car talk often isn’t. (Don’t get huffy guys—girl talk nearly always isn’t! Like, for sure!)

What’s interesting though, is the number of words that suffered twisted definitions or slid into slang, in the 1950s through the 1970s especially, that are still in use today. This is just one list that you can peruse and pick up a whole new language for your next retro “bash.”

Do you have a “blast” when you’re having fun? Is your new car really “cool”? Whatever your age, I’m sure you’re “tight” with someone who will appreciate your hip “jets” (smarts, brains).

From Mel’s Drive-In to the 1956 Ford Thunderbird, hope you have a mah-velous stroll down Memory Lane!

Word Challenge: CLUTCHED.  It’s easy to ridicule a generation for their outdated slang and “old” ways; but remember two important dynamics: intertwined with faded jargon is age-transcending wisdom, and; *2) treat every age with tolerance, as you will be there someday too. Food for thought, as you fit clutched into your week of vintage writings.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

                       


LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series, available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon, … The Psychedelic Seventies!

E-N-Dzzzzzzzz