phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Past vs. present

Posted by Bob on May 28, 2001

In Reply to: Past vs. present posted by ESC on May 26, 2001

: : : : : : I need some help locating how things were in the good old days vs. how things are now. i.e. In the past I could fill the car with gas for what a loaf of bread costs today.

: : : : : Not clear to me what kind of info you're looking for. If it's historical facts about inflation, there are better sources elsewhere. What part of your query concerns language and phrases? For instance, do you want quotations from writers and speakers who have thought up imaginative ways to say they like the past better than the present?

: : : : Sorry I was not clear - but I believe there are catchy phrases that compare the past with the present for modern day usage. If I am mistaken, I will retrack the question and go hide in a hole somewhere.

: : : Well, there's a saying by Will Rogers (I think), "Things ain't what they used to be and never was." The golden age of [whatever]; the salad days of [whatever]. The glory that was Greece, the grandeur that was Rome. Just like Mother used to make. When Hector was a pup. A blast from the past. The world is going to hell in a handbasket.

: : : Anybody else?

: : The good old days when we weren't old and we weren't good.

: From Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett:
: Lord Byron (The Age of Bronze, 1823): "The 'good old times' - all times when old are good - are gone." (I'm not sure what this one means.)

: Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1809-1894, (No Time Like the Old Time): "There is no time like the old time, when you and I were young."

: Anonymous: Ah, les bons vieux temps ou nous etions si malheureux! Oh, the good old times when we were so unhappy!

Ah, there's a lot to that. The Good Old Days can be precisely dated: the G. O. D. (hmmm...) were whenever the speaker was 17, plus or minus 2. When youth and blood were warmer. But there's also that business of angst and suffering and shared unhappiness. Let us remember that nostalgia's roots are nost + algia, "our" "pain."