Friday, March 25, 2011

A Thousand Words

If a picture truly paints a thousand words, then these vintage 1960's graphics have a whole lot to say about how we thought about things like success, gender, and ethnicity.  That's one of the fascinating things about coming across these old ephemeral (meaning temporary, or fleeting)  gems (having the meaning of treasure).

I spent the afternoon sorting through an old box of vocabulary cards which had these images plastered all over the outside of the box.  The people are engaging, well dressed, happy and working in what looks like wonderful professional lives.  I wondered what the magic words were that insured that kind of a winning life back in 1960?

I wondered how often folks used words like desuetude to refer to uselessness, or lugubrious, to mean mournful, or welter to describe a kind of tossing and tumbling that happened when a holiday was announced?

The words I found in the box were indeed interesting and certainly descriptive, but they weren't the words I might choose to describe what I learned about success in the 1960's.  They forgot to include, Harvard, Princeton and Yale, never mentioned the family business, trust fund, or club, as in good old boy's club, or country club or connections. Words like self-made, hard work, man of his word and firm handshake didn't make the cut either.  She...... was completely absent from the package, unless referring to something nice to look at or on the opposite side, demanding and shrewish.  I'll have to give my granddaughter a call tonight and ask her what she is learning about success at college this year.  It could be very interesting and may, perhaps, involve being some kind of a celebrity ...with a lot of money.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting graphics that tell a lot about how we looked at ourselves back then.