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No, really, trains

Posted by Bob on August 08, 2004

In Reply to: Re: "Acmes Rule" posted by Lotg (OZ) on August 08, 2004

: : : : : : : : : Guys who have survived their teen years, and actually were able to cram some additional knowledge into their brains during this period, will remember the reality of the 'one track mind'. My memory is hazy on some of this, but it seems to me that not a minute went past that I didn't think of 'it' in some variation of memory or imagination.
: : : : : : : : : We have all had periods when one issue was so paramount in our thoughts that it crowded everything else out. It is alledged that girls (women) have this too. But why is it called a 'one track mind'?

: : : : : : : : from railroads.

: : : : : : : From 78's.

: : : : : : : Must be from the old days of music on the gramophone - each song is a 'track' so if the same thing repeats it makes you a 'one track' record.

: : : : : : : Must be.

: : : : : : : BTW the groove on a 45 is 9 yards long...

: : : : : : What about "train of thought"?

: : : : : TRAIN OF THOUGHT -- "The line or trend of one's mental processes. The expression was carefully defined by Thomas Hobbes in 1651, suggesting that he originated it..." from "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).

: : : : Li Yar, how on earth do you know the length of a groove on a 45? And aren't there various grooves radiating out, so wouldn't they be different?

: : : I think there's only one groove per side on most records. A notable exception was Monthy Python's Matching Tie & Handkerchief, which was a 3-sided album on one disc. One of the sides had two parallel grooves, and you'd get to hear one track or the other, depending on how you queued up the needle. I wonder how they handled that feature on the CD version!

: : Going out to buy a car, the thoughts of "Acmes Rule" lept into my mind when I was looking at the convertibles (and the prospective owners) in the dealership. This site has created a new law that ranks up there with Archimedes Principle. All around the English speaking world "Acmes Rule" will bring smiles to the faces of the knowledgable.

: Actually Ward, I think rather than the smiles being on the faces of the knowledgeable, they'd be on the downright lucky - as I understand it anyway.

: But, back to the groove Brian. Yes well, I must say after I asked that question, it occurred to me that it might have been a tad umm.... dumb. Cos when I thought longer and harder about it, I suspected there was only one groove. But trust Monty Python to break the mould.

Before we go too far astray with recordings, let's re-assert that one-track mind most probably comes from railroads. (78s did not have "tracks," since they were only a single song in length.) When a train has only one track, it cannot change or turn. I imagine it's possible that "one-track" could be traced to wagon ruts or the like, but it doesn't seem as likely, since wagon trains or caravans or whatever could with a little effort be turned ... but railroads, to the amazed eye of the 19th Century, were totally committed to a straight line. an apt metaphor for inflexible minds. (By the way, Matching Tie and Handkerchief was made even more brilliant by not announcing itself. Many of us listened to both sides, then listened again, and wondered where did that one sketch go? Hilarious.)