Saturday, September 23, 2023

Ford, GM, and who?

I seem to be increasingly out of touch. Last week it was the word Eswatini, the new name of Swaziland, that caught me by surprise. Now it is American automobile makers.

From time immemorial (okay, for the last hundred years or so) the "Big Three" American auto makers have been Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler (more recently known as Daimler-Chrysler after the German company Daimler-Benz as in Mercedes Benz either acquired or merged with, take your pick, Chrysler).

Over the years, Ford made Fords, Mercurys, and Lincolns; General Motors made Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and Cadillacs; and Chrysler made Plymouths, Dodges, and Chryslers. Other manufacturers came and went. Studebaker, Nash, Hudson, Packard, Pierce-Arrow, Stanley Steamer. Gone, all of them, while the Big Three more or less thrived, with the notable exceptions of their Oldsmobile and Plymouth lines.

That all came crashing down around my ears today when I heard a news broadcaster say that the strike by the United Auto Workers Union, now in its sixth day, has spread to more locations and "is affecting all three of America's big auto makers, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis".

What? Who? I looked it up and found that Chrysler, Fiat, and Maserati are now considered Stellantis brands.

Well, blow me down. You could have knocked me over with a feather. The world marches on. Belize hasn't been British Honduras in a very long time and India may soon become Bharat. Like I said, out of touch.

That being said, do you need to brush up your Shakespeare? Which of the following statements did Hamlet say?

1. Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well, Mercutio.
2. Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well, Horatio.
3. Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well, Ophelia.

If Lady Macbeth was correct, all the perfumes of what country could not sweeten her little hand?

According to Romeo, the light that through yonder window broke was _______ and Juliet was _______.

Finally, do you know, without looking it up, who wrote the song "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" for a Broadway musical?

Until next time, I remain your out-of-touch but indefatigable (accent on the third syllable) roving correspondent.

A happy autumnal equinox to each of you.


  1. I think names are changed just to fox us!

  2. These name changes are happening so fast. Stellantis is a new one to me too, and India might change its name to Bharat, also new to me. Would Indians then call themselves Bharatans?

  3. 1. It was Horatio but Hamlet only said he knew Yorick not that he knew him well.
    2. Lady MacBeth was speaking of Arabia.
    3. The light was the East and Juliet was the sun
    4. Cole Porter wrote the song for Kiss Me Kate which was based on The Taming of the Shrew (Great musical by the way)

  4. There was a department store in Hull, East Yorkshire, that was called Hammonds. Local people still called it Hammods after it had been through about 3 name changes. I still call the chocolate bar Marathon even though it has officially been Snickers for years. And Mount Snowdon will remain as such for me. I don't care.

  5. What Emma Springfield said, all but one of which I knew. I won't say which one. And not for nothing but it's Stanley Steemer ... and Maserati. xoxo

  6. Stellantis is now a massive conglomerate with, from memory, about 20 brands between it and it's subsidiaries. It's been huge in the UK for a while. I suspect the majority of its shares are owned by investment corporations. The day when you could identify a car name with a company as we used to know them, have long gone. There are a few very small exceptions of course but not many.


    jabblog - You know what they say, you can't tell the players without a program.


  8. Terra - Bhahat is apparently the Hindu word the people of India use for themselves. India was coined by the British to refer to people near the Indus River, from what I have read.

    Emma - You got everything 100% correct. I was trying to fool everyone by adding the word 'well' into Hamlet's speech about Yorick so that I could tell all of you that he made NONE of those statements. But you saw through my little ruse!

    Tasker Dunham - The only Snowden I knew about was Anthony Armstrong-Jones, Princess Margaret's husband.

    Jenny the Pirate - I knew how to spell Maserati; that was an overlooked typo (I should proofread more thoroughly). But you are wrong about Stanley Steemer. That is a carpet cleaning company. Stanley Steamer (with an 'a') was an actual automobile company in the early part of the twentieth century.

  9. Graham Edwards - As always, you provide very interesting information. I had never heard of Stellantis before.


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