Are you sure the other via is the same?
There are not two definitions of via.
It’s a neat way to say 2 families converge to Wyoming from Indiana and South Dakota. But this wouldn’t sound right: My family’s 2 sides are from Texas via Bangkok and Tokyo. Maybe does too.
In the first sentence I would prefer “converge at Wyoming” but I can not really say why. The rest is correct indicating two places where their journey began and one place where it ended. Via is not used because there is no indication of route or method of travel.
The second sentence could be correct if their final destination was Texas, and Bangkok and Tokyo were cities on the route. It would be clearer if a beginning point were given. However, if Bangkok and Tokyo are supposed to be two separate beginning points that “converged” at Texas, then “via” should not be used because the route is not indicated, only the beginning and end.
As kids in the 70’s, we used to argue over who got to ride in the way back. I was talking about that with my mom recently, and she commented that you’d be arrested these days for piling kids into a vw beetle like she did all those years ago.
I was reminded to respond to Grant’s request for comments on this as I listened to one of David Sedaris’s essays on the BBC website. He too grew up calling that part of the car the “way back.” I grew up in Maryland; I think he grew up in the Carolinas.
We called that space in our station wagon the “way back” too. It was the 70’s, in Florida, but mom & dad were from eastern MA and western PA, respectively.
And Grant & I were apparently living in parallel universes…my folks traded that station wagon in on a Pinto (yes, a red one!), and my mom was an Avon Lady. So when the three of us kids would pile in and do Avon runs with her, you wanted to be the one in the “way back”. Because that’s where the orders and “door bags” were, and all you had to do is hand them over the seat, while the others had to take them up to the houses. But mom made sure we took turns. So that was a real hot bargaining commodity between us kids — usually involving doing one person’s chores for their turn in the “way back”.
Way back! Yes! I grew up in Arizona in the 1960’s and we called it the way back. But ours was a VW bug, not a station wagon. Still, we piled into it just as if it were a station wagon. Two parents and 4 little girls, with the lucky girl riding in the “way back.”
(My parents were raised in the Eastern US, in Pennsylvania and the DC area)
I had to create an account just to add that we definitely called it the “way back” when I was growing up in northern California in the ’70s and ’80s! I always assumed that’s just what everyone called it until I heard this episode. I asked my husband what they called it in Vermont and he said “the back,” but when I asked him about the “way back” he knew what I meant, too.
When I was a kid in New Jersey in the late 60’s and early 70’s, we referred to the sunken storage area behind the back seat of our Volkswagen Bug as the ‘way back’. I was able to lie down in that space until I was about 6 or 7 years old when I outgrew it. It was perfect for sleeping when we were driving at night. This was back before there were seatbelt laws requiring everyone in the vehicle to be strapped in. The rear window was angled just right so you could look up towards the sky and look at the stars.
Growing up in the 50’s in Iowa, I had seven siblings. My mom almost HAD to drive a station wagon. Some of us always had to sit in the rearmost, rear-facing seat. It folded up to take the rear half of the cargo area behind the back seat. We called it the ‘wayback seat’ or just the ‘wayback’, because it was ‘all the way back’ or ‘way in the back’. We knew it was kind of a joke but we also didn’t know a real name for it. It was like a rumble seat, but those faced forward, so this was different. Anyway, we thought ‘wayback’ was a good joke.
Ha! We used “way back” in our family, too. It wasn’t necessarily for a station wagon either. If anything had a space behind the back seat, that was the way back. But to be honest, as a child, I always thought it had something to do with the WABAC machine from Rocky and Bullwinkle!!
I had no idea that the Wayback Machine was actually WABAC. I wonder if it ever was spelled out in the cartoon, or if the joke spelling appears only in the scripts. I dug up this episode in which the Wayback Machine is invented and presented in hopes that they might reference the acronym or what it stands for. It is a fascinating view, regardless of failing to find the spelling WABAC on it.
Has anyone discovered solid evidence in the show of the WABAC spelling, aside from the analogy to UNIVAC, ENIAC, etc.? (c.f. Brainiac.) How do we know it’s not, for instance, WAYBAC as it is here, as reported directly by “the last living director of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Gerard Baldwin”? Anyone found a script online or anything?
Regarding possible link between the fabled car seat and Rocky & Bullwinkle, etymologists will be mindful that when the TV show first came on line, the actual operators of such vehicles were already adults in their 30s and 40s. Considering that, and they being somewhat harried parents perhaps, Genesis could easily take this form: MIKIE! STOP! PULLING! HER! HAIR! GET! IN! WAY! BACK! THIS! SECOND!
It’s certainly far from conclusive, but check out this from the FAQ at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. They seem to think it was originally spelled “WABAC” on Rocky and Bullwinkle. Couldn’t find a direct citation anywhere on their website though. They do have a Contact link, but I have a feeling it might be difficult to reach a person who could really answer that question.
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