Auto: (n) an automobile.
About two years ago, for fun, I decided to take a series of obsolete words and use them over and over again for a 24-hour period.
The reason for my little ploy was to find out what people would think if they heard words being used that had either been buried in the past or were associated with a pseudo-intellectual form of speak.
It was great fun.
And of course, one of those words was “auto.”
You would be surprised if, for just one day, every time you referred to your car you refrained from using “wheels” or “transportation,” and just told people you were “on your way out to your auto.”
One fellow thought I was British. Mind you, I had no accent–just apparently came across very Queenly.
But the general consensus was that in using words like “auto,” which have long since been buried in our history, I was generally deemed to be very intelligent–but not particularly appealing.
Isn’t it interesting that even though we tout the importance of education, when individuals express the fruits of that experience through their vernacular (the way they talk), we are somewhat put off by them and wonder why they don’t just “say it plain.”
So when I exclaimed to a group of teenagers that I was “off in my auto to motor to the general store to pick up some sundries,” the blank looks were priceless.
Yet they did get out of my way … and make room for my verbal ego.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix
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