Tuesday, December 14, 2010

roll down/roll up

'It's hot in this car, roll down the windows'.

''Looks like there's sand blasting up ahead, roll up the (car) windows, will ya?'

Today I'm pondering the use of the verb 'roll' in regard to car windows. Isn't it fast becoming outdated? Most cars now have power-windows which go up or down by way of a .... what would you call it .... lever? button? switch?
The automatic control is certainly not a handle, and the action required to raise or lower the window is no longer a 'rolling'. Was it ever, though? Rolling a window up or down requires that one take hold of a handle, crank it it in one direction or the opposite direction - with a rotating action. That's what it always meant to 'roll the window' up or down. Though I now wonder if that action really qualifies as a 'roll'.

This could boggle the mind - if there weren't already so many other things in life that serve to boggle, which all of us could/should be more concerned with than this .... but since we're already on the subject....

Now that the majority of vehicles have electrically powered windows, has the mechanism remained the same? It appears that is so, and the only difference is whether the operation of raising and lowering the car window is done manually or via electricity ('push of the button'). If the mysterious inner workings of raising or lowering the panel of tempered glass hasn't changed, would it still be accurate (if it ever really was) to stay with 'roll the window'? If not, what should we be saying instead? 

When I was a kid in the 1950's - 60's, my Mom used to call our refrigerator - the 'icebox'. Indeed - in her youth (Mom was born in 1918), cold storage space in the kitchen was, very simply, a box that contained food, kept cold by ice. This was before electrically run refrigerators became widely available to the masses. Keeping foods cold in an icebox required that from time to time, a huge block of ice be placed into it to keep things cold. When the ice gradually melted away, it was replaced by another big block of ice. Hence, the ice-man would cometh.

Even after she'd been enjoying electrically run refrigerators for a number of years, Mom continued to call the kitchen cold storage unit aka our fridge - the 'icebox'. Though decades have passed, my memory remains vivid and clear of Mom instructing my brothers and me to 'Put the leftovers in the icebox'.

'Roll down / roll up' ----- food for thought on a cold n' rainy December morn.

While our thinking caps are choogling along on the topic of rolling up/down - it's time for me to head to the kitchen to forage for lunch fixins' - in the icebox...

[car window crank image from: http://www.mustangproject.com/Catalog.aspx?category=0e4a35c1-13d3-4f45-bc14-04f1809ec9ac&sub=cd5a65df-9d5d-4bf4-9c02-7eb1f5682720]


House Dreams said...

oh, yes, the icebox...and we had a cooler...a cupboard with wire shelves that was had a small opening to the outside.
It worked!

One of the old timers used to say "Open the light! and Close the light!"

Does anyone still call it an electric egg beater?

Can I still dial a phone number?
Can I still type on the keyboard?

Napster #46 said...

As recent as 1985 was the last time I had a car that had rollup windows. A Toyota 4x4 Pickup truck. I remember when it was raining, I would only lower the window a few inches to hand the $3 bucks to the toll collector at the Bay Bridge. It always pissed them off to have to reach for it. Kind of like holding out a peanut for the monkey to grab. Ha,ha. What I really miss is the little wing windows to get a little breeze instead of having the wind mess up your hair with the other window. I guess today's correct term would be; would you please lower/raise your window? But after some thought, I probably us 'roll' and 'up/down' more often than not.

As a teenager, it seemed like such an ordeal to get a buck's worth of gas. You'd pull a say: 'give me a bucks worth'. In those days it was 29 cents a gallon. After the 'attendant' finished, he would say 'pop' the hood. You would unlatch or release the lock and he would proceed to check the oil. Then he would shove that dip stick in your face and say you're a quart low. Wanna top it off? Nah. Then he would top off your radiator with water. Next he would unscrew all the caps on your battery. Walk over and tell you the third cell was really low, better keep your eye on it. Right. Next he would squirt actual glass cleaner on your windshield and clean it up. I hated when they did ALL the windows. When all that was done, he would close the hood and start checking the air pressure of all four tires. I would hand him the dollar for the gas and he would put it into the outside cash compartment. Then he would give you about ten Green Stamps and send you along your way. He also wanted you to say hello to your dad. Easily about 20 minutes in your little impatient life.

Conn said...

i say put the window up or down.
and refrigerator. but i have been know to say icebox... which comes from living with grandparents.