“Don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs” and other famous first words
25 March 2013
Through activities and practical advice sessions, artist collective Re-Dock have worked with residents of Your Housing Group sheltered & supported accommodation to discuss technological innovations within their lifetimes, whilst exploring the outer limits of emerging telecommunications platforms.
The sessions have acquainted the resident groups with iPads, Skype and aspects of social media and online research tools, whilst drawing inspiration from people's memories and experiences of the early days of electronic communications technology.
This week we learned and interesting lesson on the Can you hear me? I can see you! Project. During a discussion on what message of advice people would send via laser to space, Ronnie, a man with a sharp sense of humour suggested, “don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs”. It was an off-the-wall suggestion perhaps, but one which soon found relevance within the session itself.
As we began to research famous first words sent via different mediums, I checked that everyone was able to navigate Wikipedia. Rene, who is one of the oldest in the group, seemed to be reading extremely small text. Keen to help, I offered to show her the two-finger-zoom gesture on the iPad. Her response was to quickly demonstrate to me the said gesture, with a deftness of touch that comes with being a confident iPad user, whilst looking at me as if to say “of course I know that one sonny!”
Anyway, we found those famous first words, whilst I learnt the true meaning of the phrase “teaching your grandmother to suck eggs”. Just to be sure though, Rene looked it up on Wikipedia:
“Teaching grandmother to suck eggs is an English-language saying, meaning that a person is giving advice to someone else about a subject that they already know about (and probably more than the first person).”
Some famous first words:
- Telephone – ”come here Watson, I want to see you.”
- Radio broadcast - Luke 2:14 – ”Glory to God in the highest on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”
- Internet “lo.”
- Telegram – “what hath god wraught”
- Television - “Good evening and welcome to television”
For more information about Can you hear me? I can see you!, visit the project page.