Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm Bringing "Needn't" Back....

Yep, let Justin Timberlake bring back the sexy - all I want is to breathe life into some dying words!  :D

You may call this sacrilege, but it's time for me to take inventory of all of my vintage magazines.  I have obscene amounts, and I keep getting them from my wonderful friends, so it's time to take a long look at the ones I've had for a while and make room for the new (old) issues.  As my friend Nicci says, "You can't have everything - where would you put it?".  Exactly.  And maybe I can make a couple of bucks in the meantime - I'm going to sell them at our upcoming rummage sale!

Of course, in the filtering process, I can't just throw them on a pile and be done with it!  No, I have to skim every one of these to make sure I'm not going to sell any that have the "perfect' ad in them!  Heaven forbid!  This wouldn't be so bad if I stopped there, but I find myself re-reading these magazines as well.

Here's what I've discovered:  If our advertising is any gauge of the state of our intelligence, we're in deep doo-doo.


Not only can we not be bothered by a lot of copy in our ads these days, but it seems that advertisers have "dumbed down" the verbiage.  Which brings me to my pressing question - whatever happened to "needn't"?

It's a great word!  And because we like to shorten everything now, you'd think that it would be perfect!  Take the great A&P ad featuring their version of Betty Crocker, Ann Page (above).  She's telling us that "Fine foods needn't be expensive."  Right on, Ann!  Isn't that also far easier than saying, "Good food (because we wouldn't say "fine" these days, either) doesn't need to be expensive"?  By saying it our "modern" way, we've wasted six characters!  In our 140-character universe, that's prime real estate.

Here's a fantastic ad for Falstaff from 1968, and another great word that would save some space - "slake"!  Where did "slake" go?  Say it a couple of times, just to warm it up before the workout.  Doesn't that sound great?  By substituting "slake" for "quench", we just saved one more letter.  Plus, it's WAY more fun to say!  And it rhymes with so many more words!

What say, Ephemeraologists!  Should we start a new collection - a collection of forgotten words?  I would LOVE to see images of vintage ads that contain a word that we haven't heard in a while.  You can post your images right on the Ephemeraology Facebook page.  If you don't do Facebook, share a link to the image in the comments below.

Let's start a vocabulary revolution!  :D

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