Where Did That Come From?

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Have you given any thought to names these days?  I mean, there are some really weird names out there these days!  Here’s a case in point (believe it or not, this is a true story told to me by a nurse in a hospital): It seems that a mother had to take her daughter in to the hospital for some kind of treatment.  When she had to fill out the paperwork for the girl’s name, the mother wrote “A-A”.  The nurse in question was perplexed and pronounced it “AA” (kinda makes sense, doesn’t it?)  Well, the mother got furious!!!  She went ballistic and said something to the effect of, “I don’t know what’s wrong with people that they can’t pronounce my daughter’s name!  It happens all the time and I’m sick and tired of it!”  The nurse replied, rather calmly to the mother who’s veins were bulging and who’d been yelling about the mispronounciation: “Would you please pronounce it correctly for me?”  “Her name is AdashA!!!  Can’t you see?!?!?”  (I could tell you some others that she mentioned to me that she’d encountered which we spelled like dirty words but pronounced differently!)

It isn’t just the names of people, though.  I remember when a large petroleum company changed their name to Exxon.  I remember when cars were named after people or animals or something that was obvious…but no longer!!!!  I mean, what is a Daihatsu Charade and why would anyone want to buy something called a “charade”?  Or what about a Ford Probe?  (I don’t know about you, but when I go to the doctor, probes are not something I look forward to!)  The Chevrolet Nova  was a poor choice because in Spanish, Nova meant “it doesn’t go”.  The Dodge Swinger sounds like something you might find in the red-light district in Amsterdam (no, I’ve never been there!) The Nissan Moco was, fortunately, only marketed in Japan, because in Spanish, “moco” means “booger”!  The Oldsmobile Alero?  It’s not even a word in the dictionary, and the same goes for Chevrolet Lumina.  I guess if you can’t think of real names, just make one up.  That’s what people seem to be doing with their kids these days, right A-A?

Maybe I’m just getting old and nostalgic, but I recall the good old days when cars were named things that made sense…like the car in today’s photo, shot at Old Car City near White, GA.  The Ford Fairlane.  It evokes images of a nice lane to drive in, doesn’t it?  But the AMC Gremlin (as it turns out, it had gremlins).  Remember the Volkswagen Thing?  Talk about U-G-L-Y!

Thankfully, some cool car names have persevered: Mustang, Cobra, Corvette, Phantom.  Now you’re talkin’!!!!

ON THIS DAY IN  HISTORY:  in 1963, the USS Thresher, an atomic submarine, sinks in the Atlantic Ocean, killing the entire crew. One hundred and twenty-nine sailors and civilians were lost when the sub unexpectedly plunged to the sea floor 300 miles off the coast of New England.

The Thresher was launched on July 9, 1960, from Portsmouth Naval Yard in New Hampshire. Built with new technology, it was the first submarine assembled as part of a new class that could run more quietly and dive deeper than any that had come before.

On April 10, 1963, at just before 8 a.m., the Thresher was conducting drills off the coast of Cape Cod. At 9:13 a.m., the USS Skylark, another ship participating in the drills, received a communication from the Thresher that the sub was experiencing minor problems.

Other attempted communications failed and, only five minutes later, sonar images showed the Thresher breaking apart as it fell to the bottom of the sea. Sixteen officers, 96 sailors and 17 civilians were on board. All were killed.

On April 12, President John F. Kennedy ordered that flags across the country be flown at half-staff to commemorate the lives lost in this disaster. A subsequent investigation revealed that a leak in a silver-brazed joint in the engine room had caused a short circuit in critical electrical systems. The problems quickly spread, making the equipment needed to bring the Thresher to the surface inoperable.

The disaster forced improvements in the design and quality control of submarines. Twenty-five years later, in 1988, Vice Admiral Bruce Demars, the Navy’s chief submarine officer, said “The loss of Thresher initiated fundamental changes in the way we do business–changes in design, construction, inspections, safety checks, tests, and more. We have not forgotten the lessons learned. It’s a much safer submarine force today.”

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Bears have been known to eat almost anything, including snowmobile seats, engine oil, and rubber boots.

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3 thoughts on “Where Did That Come From?”

  1. AdashA? Oh lord.

    I’ve always loved studying car names & the psychology behind it. Luxury manufacturers choose alphanumeric names to avoid evoking a reference you mentioned above. BMW and Mercedes won’t have any “name” cars, it’s all letters and numbers. Lexus – and now Infiniti – have also jumped into that arena.

    Fascinating to me, this.

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