Friday, 14 December 2007

Clunk, click, every trip

Viola and I were watching the first couple of episodes of Series 2 of Life on Mars the other day. It has come, belatedly, to BBC America (slightly edited and not in widescreen -- very annoying!). At one point, Gene says "Clunk, click, every trip" and both Viola and I wondered whether this was an anachronism. We remembered the phrase from the late 70s, perhaps 1978 or 1979, but doubted that it was as early as 1973, when Life on Mars is set. Well, we were wrong. A reliable article on Wikipedia tells us that it became a slogan at the heart of a safety belt campaign as early as 1971, and even then it was borrowed from an earlier campaign in the 1960s. A trawl through Youtube turns up this gem from 1972, which encourages "you ladies" to belt up:

By the time I can remember these films, though, the "Clunk, click, every trip" didn't have to be explained, as it is here. It was just recited. There is a nice article from 2006 on this on BBC News, The message clicks.

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