Thursday, April 14, 2011

Do You Catch On?

By Kim Hagerty
What do you think of when you hear the question: Do You Catch On? This is actually a title of a newspaper article from The Clare Sentinel, dated February 10, 1911. The article explains that "catching on" is a term used to refer to the practice of catching on a moving sleigh. The reason for the article was to warn against the dangers of this activity. There had been a "catch on" related fatality in Clare, Michigan, and they were urging parents and teachers to discourage children from this practice since they could be seriously or fatally injured.

Is that what you thought of when you heard that question? It sure makes you wonder how some terms we use today will have a completely different meaning in the future. Interesting how our language is forever changing. The Clare Sentinel is being digitized and put up online for everyone to use on CONDOR, CMU's online digital repository. To read articles from 1911, click the Clarke Historical Library Newspaper Collection.