Have you ever questioned how some terms or phrases are either outdated or don’t even make any sense? For example, when was the last time you actually “dialed” the phone? Except for your great aunt Edna, rotary dial phones are no longer in existence. We don’t dial anything; we just tap it or touch it.
What about taping a video? We don’t use tape anymore. We’re not using VCRs to record anything, we record it with bytes, not footage. Footage implies the film is measured in feet, but there aren’t any length measurements when it comes to recording a video.
A friend of mine goes crazy when he sees a sign on a motorcycle or a car that states, “FOR SALE BY OWNER.” Seriously? Who else would be selling it? A neighbor? A house, sure, but anything else should be assumed that the owner is selling it, right?
What if I listed a number of terms that you should know if you’re in the trucking industry? Do you know what an ICC bumper is? ICC stands for Interstate Commerce Commission, which was created in 1887 to regulate railroads. Wait, what does that have to do with the piece of metal on the back of your trailer?
It’s because of the four wheelers who wanted to drive under your trailers. In 1953 the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration required trailer manufacturers to retrofit a bumper to stop cars from driving under the trailer in an underride accident. Yes, the trucking industry had to add a bumper because cars kept driving under their trailers. Go figure.
What about all the animals we hear professional drivers mention. How about a dog house? What about an alligator or a Bulldog? A dog house is the space between the seats in a cabover truck which covers the engine. Seriously, if you’ve ever driven a cabover, you will know that this great expanse if a wonderful spot to drop your head and take a quick nap.
An alligator is the strip of tire on the side of the road resulting from a blown tire. A Bulldog is just the name of a Mack Truck. While I’m on the subject, don’t you just get wild when you hear someone talk about getting sick or a sleepless night and they claim they were “hit by a Mack truck?” Sheesh, can we just say it was a train?
Have you seen a chicken coop or a bear? A chicken coop is just a weigh station, or scale, or as we call them in Wisconsin, a SWES (Size and Weight Enforcement Station.)
Speaking of bears, there are a lot of variations such as feeding the bears, bear bait, mama bear, bear bait or bear in the air. A bear is a police officer, perhaps a variation of Smokey Bear. Feeding the bears is paying a ticket, Bair Bait is just a four wheeler speeding along so they get they get the ticket. A mama bear is a female police officer and a bear in the air is a cop in a helicopter or airplane which is monitoring your speed.
If you’ve been a driver for more than a decade, you know these terms. If not, maybe they aren’t are relevant anymore. Ask an older driver.
What are some names that you shouldn’t use any more? How about fireman, mailman, stewardess, or policeman? In these days of gender neutrality it’s fire fighter, mail carrier, flight attendant and police officer.
For those of us old enough to remember some words that weren’t offensive in the past, how do you feel about the words gay, dope, girl or even whoopee? It only makes me wonder what terms we use today that may become offensive in the future.
Think about the words we use on a daily basis that are no longer relevant. And, by the way, please don’t use a sign stating, “For Sale By Owner,” unless you’re selling a house.
Ellen Voie, CAE, PDC