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Old 08 April 2016, 03:52 PM
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Icon23 Stupid questions

To avoid hijacking LTTMYH, I am taking this query here, kicked off by Seaboe's post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
A professor friend of my father's, who had a twisted sense of humor (both my father and his friend, actually), had a sign on his office door that read "swallow a live toad first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day."

Seaboe
I have heard that 'toad' saying attributed to a number of people, including Mark Twain. Do we have any real idea where it truly originated?
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Old 08 April 2016, 04:22 PM
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Essays by Nicolas Chamfort that were printed in the 1790's included the following (the link is to an English translation of M. Chamfort's work as it was in French):
Quote:
M. de Lassay, a very indulgent man, but with a great knowledge of society, said that we should swallow a toad ever morning, in order to fortify ourselves against the disgust of the rest of the day, when we have to spend it in society.
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Old 08 April 2016, 06:25 PM
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From the old thread:

Quote:
WildaBeast, panel vans existed before the 60s. ETA: Actually, now I'm not positive that that term was used then or if it's a more recent term applied to sedan deliveries.
I could be wrong, I had thought that the VW Microbus was the first van as we think of them today, although although I don't know if VW referred to it as such. As they became popular over here the American manufacturers all introduced their own vans in the '60s.

I remember watching an old Lassie episode when I was a kid where Lassie gets trapped in a semi trailer and driven off somewhere, and the characters kept calling the truck a van. I mean I could easily be misremembering since it was so long ago, but it kind of stuck out to me since it seems like an unusual usage. I think that's how I got the idea that van was an old fashioned word for a truck.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 08 April 2016 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 08 April 2016, 07:03 PM
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GenYus, thanks, but that sounds like it was recommended for actual medicinal value, as a form of folk medicine, although there is the sense of dealing generally with the pitfalls of the day. Perhaps there was a medicinal recommendation initially, but as the lore of toads/frogs being medically useful was lost, the advice was repurposed with a snarky twist.

As for 'vans', I remember growing up in the 60s, almost any cargo truck could be referred to as a 'van'. Pickups were not. I checked the etymology and the use of 'van' for a cargo-carrier goes back to the mid-1800s, referring to wagons, and was a shortening of 'caravan' which in the late 1600s came to be applied to single units that might otherwise be part of a train of vehicles. In my receollection, by the mid to late 60s, 'van' was mostly used for housemovers, panel trucks, and the vehicles like minivans but which had no seats in the back. The latter were - and still are - very popular for handymen, painters, floorers, and delivery of medium sized stuff. My family had a Corvair van like that in the 70s. Since the latter style were small enough for daily personal use and that extra space was useful, they same to have seats installed (VW Microbus, and later minivans), or mattresses, or carpeting and padding, etc. for all sorts of personal use. And of course, there were the conversion vans, which outfitted work vans with all sorts of accoutrements, sometimes as far as to make them very pleasant small campers.
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Old 08 April 2016, 07:11 PM
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Do you mean to say that Chamfort is recommending it as medicine or that he is the one repurposing an old medicinal recommendation?

Also, I'm not sure toads were generally considered medicinal in western society, weren't they considered very toxic back? IMS, the etymology of "toady" would be a person who would pretend to eat or lick a toad and fall victim to a horrible malady that only the miracle tonic could cure.
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Old 08 April 2016, 08:14 PM
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I thought Chamfort was conveying what was then taken as medicinal advice, and that when people added the part 'and then nothing worse will happen to you all day,' they were trying to make sense of what seemed like a really stupid bit of advice.

As for the origin of 'toady', wouldn't it make more sense to people that they should not lick toads?
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Old 08 April 2016, 08:46 PM
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I have a not-stupid but hard for me to research question:

One of the ertwins Little A, has exhibited a few things I thought might be signs of stuttering. I Googled, mostly expecting to see something saying that at his age (almost 3) these things were perfectly normal. But, according to a page from the Temple University Stuttering Prevention Clinic, he exhibits several risk factors. That page also says that, under the age of 5, the development of a chronic stutter can be prevented, and it makes a number of recommendations.

Another result from my Google search was an abstract of a scientific paper that seemed to say that there is no evidence that chronic stuttering can be prevented, but that that idea persists among clinicians (or something to that effect). I have no access to the paper itself or ability to do very reliable research into medical questions.

So, I'm appealing to snopesters who might have some knowledge about this subject, either through personal experience or expertise, or better access to the info. What's the scoop? Is there reason to think that changing some of our habits and involving a speech therapist would be a good idea, or is there no evidence for that, or is there affirmatively evidence that it does not help or can make it worse?

On the van thing, my initial comment, which I didn't have time to explain more, was based on my step-father owning and restoring a 1940s vehicle that he and others referred to as a panel van. It was about the size and shape of a pickup truck of the same era, but the back was all enclosed, with two back doors. I thought the "panel van" description was a period one, but it occurred to me after posting that maybe the vehicle was designated something else at the time, and just called a panel van by the people I heard talking about it in the 90s through the present. Those same people would refer to a modern van as just a van or minivan, though.

Last edited by erwins; 08 April 2016 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 08 April 2016, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I thought Chamfort was conveying what was then taken as medicinal advice, and that when people added the part 'and then nothing worse will happen to you all day,' they were trying to make sense of what seemed like a really stupid bit of advice.
Doesn't seem like it. If you click the page 192 link in the book excerpt I linked to, the rest of the bits quoted from Chamfort are very much commentary on society.

Quote:
As for the origin of 'toady', wouldn't it make more sense to people that they should not lick toads?
Um... yes? Not sure what you are saying here.
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Old 09 April 2016, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
(snip)
Another result from my Google search was an abstract of a scientific paper that seemed to say that there is no evidence that chronic stuttering can be prevented, but that that idea persists among clinicians (or something to that effect). I have no access to the paper itself or ability to do very reliable research into medical questions.
Erwins, I have no experience or advice with stuttering, but I wanted to say that if you did want access to that article, there are probably some snopesters who may be able to assist you (myself included), depending on what journal it is in.

Whether any of us could understand it to the level of giving advice would be a different matter.
  #10  
Old 09 April 2016, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
Is there reason to think that changing some of our habits and involving a speech therapist would be a good idea, or is there no evidence for that, or is there affirmatively evidence that it does not help or can make it worse?
I can't speak for stuttering, but I was almost 4 years old before they figured out the reason I was talking weird was because my hearing was reduced by > 30 % due to allergies. I didn't start speech therapy until I was 10, and I wish I had started earlier.
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Old 09 April 2016, 08:25 AM
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Yeah, I think I will continue to ask questions, but I will put some trust in the people who are experts on it. Thanks for the responses.
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Old 09 April 2016, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Um... yes? Not sure what you are saying here.
Just that selling an elixir by showing that it cures something you wouldn't do anyway seems like much of a selling point. I am sure the pitch was that it would cure anything, and if it cures this horrible condition, think what it will do for your everyday aches and pains.

And it probably worked for most people too - by placebo effect.
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Old 09 April 2016, 06:39 PM
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Your first paragraph was what I was trying to say so we are in agreement.

On your second, some tonics of the time included opiates or cocaine so that was probably responsible for much of the good feelings.
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Old 09 April 2016, 07:36 PM
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Alcohol, too.
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Old 09 April 2016, 10:38 PM
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Regarding Vans: If I'm not mistaken, the word "van" is actually a contraction of the word "caravan" (Wikipedia backs me up on this but it's a definition I've heard for years). Originally they were just covered vehicles meant for transporting goods - so covered wagons, railroad boxcars, sedan deliveries, and things like box trucks have all been called "vans" at some point. This is why some moving companies are still called "Van Lines" and why moving trucks are still sometimes called "moving vans". Although I've also never heard anyone call anything bigger than a box truck a "moving van".

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I could be wrong, I had thought that the VW Microbus was the first van as we think of them today, although although I don't know if VW referred to it as such. As they became popular over here the American manufacturers all introduced their own vans in the '60s.
VW called the Type 2 the "Transporter". Initially it was available as a panel van (no back seat), which I think they just called "Commercial" or the "Kombi", which had a bench seat in the back so you could take a couple of passengers with your cargo. There were other models (the Caravelle, the Samba Bus, various pickups and stuff), and of course specialized models like school buses and fire engines and ambulances. I don't think VW called any of them a van till the Type 2 T3, which was marketed as the "Vanagon" here in the states (and still called Transporter back in Germany).

This is in contrast to GM, which originally called the G-series the "ChevyVan" and the GMC version the "Handi Van".
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Old 10 April 2016, 02:29 AM
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Erwins, I would pursue it now, if you are concerned. The worst that could happen is the specialist you consult says something like, "It's not an issue now, but come back and see me in a year if it becomes one." And if they do decide it's an issue, most things with kids are more easily fixed earlier rather than later.
  #17  
Old 10 April 2016, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
I can't speak for stuttering, but I was almost 4 years old before they figured out the reason I was talking weird was because my hearing was reduced by > 30 % due to allergies. I didn't start speech therapy until I was 10, and I wish I had started earlier.
We found that my son had similar hearing loss (inverted ear drums -- they described his hearing as being similar to sitting under 4 feet of water) that we didnt catch until he was 3.

we did get him into speech therapy, but 15 years later and he retains a bit of a lisp... he also has difficulties sorting out which sounds take importance -- like the ticking of a clock or the dad talking to him..

bottom line is get it assessed professionally and then make an informed decision.
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Old 10 April 2016, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_Done_Living View Post
... he also has difficulties sorting out which sounds take importance -- like the ticking of a clock or the dad talking to him..
I think that this ordering of attention is a teen thing, not a hearing-problem thing.
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Old 10 April 2016, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I think that this ordering of attention is a teen thing, not a hearing-problem thing.
But it can be exacerbated if said teen is hard of hearing.

Zor "20+ years of educating deaf and hard of hearing teens tells me so" ro
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Old 10 April 2016, 06:45 PM
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I am wondering if this is a result of age bias, but it seems in the last 3 years (since both my husband and I reached mid 40s) I am much more aware of colonoscopies and the fact it is recommended to have one every 10 years, starting at 50. Or is this something that people don't like to talk about, so it sort of gets brushed under the rug?

My parents have a friend who insisted on getting screened early, early 40s, as she felt something was wrong and she had an aunt and a cousin who had already had bowel cancer. She also had early stage bowel cancer, which was caught early enough because she went against her doctor's recommendation, who said it wasn't necessary.
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