ossification and summer vacation?

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ossification and summer vacation?

Post by mrt » Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:14 pm

Summer vacation for school children originated from the need to plant crops during the summer (most of the kids were farmers back then).
Well, most kids are no longer farmers, yet the summer break remains. I thought this was called "ossification", but dictionary.com leads me to believe otherwise.


The term I'm looking for describes something that fulfilled a need at one point, but even though the need is no longer there (usually due to the passage of time), the "fix" still exists.

Anyone got an idea?
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ossification and summer vacation?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:51 pm

How about 'anachronism' or 'relic'?
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ossification and summer vacation?

Post by spiritus » Thu Jun 09, 2005 1:10 am

mrt wrote: Summer vacation for school children originated from the need to plant crops during the summer (most of the kids were farmers back then).
Well, most kids are no longer farmers, yet the summer break remains. I thought this was called "ossification", but dictionary.com leads me to believe otherwise.


The term I'm looking for describes something that fulfilled a need at one point, but even though the need is no longer there (usually due to the passage of time), the "fix" still exists.

Anyone got an idea?
Eric gave you the correct and most appropriate word for the meaning you supplied in the last paragraph of your posting; anachronism.
An error in chronology; especially : a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects, or customs in regard to each other
2 : a person or a thing that is chronologically out of place; especially : one from a former age that is incongruous in the present

Merriam Webster Dictionary.
mrt,
The example of "summer vacation" you provided, is not an anachronism nor is it historically correct.
Historians at Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum that recreates an 1830s New England farming village, say not. According to the web site and schoolmistress there, farm children went to school from December to March and from mid-May to August. Adults and children alike helped with planting and harvesting in the spring and fall.

Moreover:
Urban schools in the 1800s also lacked the long summer vacation modern Americans take for granted. Like working families today, new immigrant families needed a safe and affordable place for children to stay while parents worked. In large cities, children of parents who worked in factories, shops, or mills learned English and other subjects during an 11-month school year.
And please note:
Short school years with long vacations are not the norm in Europe, Asia, or South America either. Children in most industrialized countries go to school more days per year and more hours per day than in America. While just sitting in a classroom longer does not necessarily ensure children will learn more, many American teachers spend weeks every fall just reminding kids of what they forgot over the summer.
All quotes: http://i.infoplease.com
content="No More Pencils, No More Books: Summer Vacations and Other Vacations"


Speaking as an educator and father; and non-farmer..knowing what "summer vacation" implies, is absolutely necessary.
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ossification and summer vacation?

Post by mrt » Thu Jun 09, 2005 1:55 pm

Thank you for the informative and prompt replies.
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ossification and summer vacation?

Post by russcable » Thu Jun 09, 2005 2:27 pm

How about vestigial?
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ossification and summer vacation?

Post by dalehileman » Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:50 pm

MRT: Yet "Anachronism" and "vestigial" seem not to quite fit. Does anyone know a word meaning an entity for which no exact term exists

All invited to invent
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ossification and summer vacation?

Post by Shelley » Thu Jun 09, 2005 5:14 pm

I wouldn't vote with using "anachronism" in this way. Anachronism has to do with error or chronologic misplacement -- for example, seeing a wristwatch on a medieval knight in some representation (play, painting or movie, etc).
Vestigial is better -- something no longer in use. Only thing is, vestigial also means the thing is not fully formed – has faded, shrunk and/or is somehow a shadow of its former self. We're talking about stuff that is still in practice, even though the original purpose is obsolete. But “obsolete” isn’t right, either . . .
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ossification and summer vacation?

Post by spiritus » Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:32 pm

Anachronism-1 : an error in chronology; especially : a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects, or customs in regard to each other
2 : a person or a thing that is chronologically out of place; especially : one from a former age that is incongruous in the present--- Merriam Webster Dictionary
"Anarchronism" seems to have the best fit for MRT's description.
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ossification and summer vacation?

Post by spiritus » Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:57 pm

dalehileman wrote: MRT: Yet "Anachronism" and "vestigial" seem not to quite fit. Does anyone know a word meaning an entity for which no exact term exists
Dale,

When engaging in small talk, I often find Emmanuel Kant's existentialist offering hits the non-existent mark.

NOUMENON

1 (in Kantian philosophy) something that seems real, but cannot be truly understood, although people have some intuitive idea of it, as God or the soul.
2 a thing-in-itself; something that remains of an object of thought after all the categories of understanding, such as space and time, have been removed from it. --- World Book Encyclopedia
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ossification and summer vacation?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Jun 09, 2005 11:56 pm

Yes, there is nothing like disussing objects with incomprehensible attributes for breaking the social ice.
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ossification and summer vacation?

Post by spiritus » Fri Jun 10, 2005 12:18 am

(;-)
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