Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Smash

Without using the internet, what is the etymology of the replacement of "crash" with "accident"? Was it when nobles stopped letting the chauffeurs drive, and began piloting the vehicles themselves? When elders insisted on continuing to drive, despite their inability to properly manage manual steering and athletically-influenced brakes? When the finance capitalists who took over the auto manufacturers from the first generation began buying legislation meant to allow everyone to pilot a massive, dangerous hunk of metal, thereby forcing states to lower licensing requirements down to written tests designed at a third-grade reading level, and teensy-weensy Playskool-inspired obstacle courses, instead of requiring a minimum of mechanical knowledge and advanced piloting skill? When, subsequent to the latter objectives-based bars, senior citizens and women began driving en masse?

4 comments:

  1. i always thought it was cuz of that ballard book about carcrashsex

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  2. I wager this is a rhetorical question.

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  3. I think this change occurred roughly around the time that alcoholism stopped being seen as self-indulgence and started being classified as a "disease," and when sex and gambling started being thought of as causes for "addiction."

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  4. A thought-provoking little post. Of course, the auto industry 'steers' this turn of discourse, with several backseat drivers barking in unison.

    Crashes are indeed 'accidents' in the sense that very few crashes would appear to be the result of careful planning and deliberation. On the other hand, auto crashes happen with such regularity that they might also be referred to instead as 'inevitabilities'. But that term contains too much commodity-associated negativity to establish itself as a vernacular staple in Sleep Country USA.

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