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What’s the word problem at the heart of Mad Men?

There has been much ado about the specific clothing, furniture, and products in the hit AMC series Mad Men. Of course, fans love the accurate details. The afternoon cocktails and elaborate dresses are a constant reminder of how much has changed in the 50 years since the 1960s. The show gets the set right, but what about the dialogue? How does their accuracy apply to language? Not so well, it seems.

There are two straightforward methods to tease out the anachronisms. One compares the dialogue in Mad Men to the books published in the ’60s; the other compares the dialogue in Mad Men to the dialogue in television shows and movies in the ’60s, like the Twilight Zone and Dr. Strangelove. Obviously, neither is a perfect measure. A journal entry or letter written during the era might better capture the actual words that people used, but we do not have all the letters from the ’60s conveniently digitized. So these are the best methods available.

Benjamin Schmidt, a graduate student in intellectual history, has studied this in-depth. Schmidt recently assembled a useful diagram of phrases used in Mad Men that do not appear in books written during that time. The outliers on his diagram show the anachronistic phrases. Some phrases, like espresso beans and safety protocol, did not enter common English parlance until the ’70s or later.

The most striking out-of-place word, though, is “pantyhose.” Early in the show, pantyhose appeared in Peggy’s apartment, and fashion mavens quickly pointed out that pantyhose were not worn in the 1960s. The language problem, though, is that the word “pantyhose” was not even used. The word was not used until after 1966 and not regularly until the 1970s. Don Draper correctly uses the word nylons which dates back to 1940. But Peggy and other characters incorrectly refer to their stockings as pantyhose.

In fact, in the final episode of the fourth season, a large story line focuses on Peggy acquiring her first account with Topaz pantyhose. In the interview with the potential client, Peggy says, “I can wear Topaz pantyhose with anything. I’m wearing them now, and I’ll change everything but my hose before I go out tonight.” She even proposes as a potential tag line: “Topaz – the only pair of pantyhose you’ll ever need. Bad for business, good for you.” The writers got one thing right. Topaz was an actual brand of nylons in the 1960s, but they weren’t called pantyhose. They were called stockings.

Does this poor word choice shade your perspective of the show and its accuracy?

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150 Comments

  1. Jesusa Drisdelle -  June 1, 2012 - 4:46 pm

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    Reply
  2. Erik H. -  April 15, 2012 - 7:48 pm

    Well written
    Mrs. B: Mrs. B on March 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    The Oxford English Dictionary’s earliest attestation of ‘Panti Hose’ is from 1959 in McCalls.
    Read more at http://hotword.dictionary.com/madmen/#pmcJs1xZV2P2FMay.99

    and
    Vanessa:
    Vanessa on March 25, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Life Magazine: October 11, 1963, Page 60: Topaz advertisement includes Panti-Hose. They had a store in NYC at 19 West 36 Street. The advertisement also says, “Look for a complete wardrobe of Topaz Stockings, Panti-Hose, Tights, and Lycra Support Stockings” at [a list of] other stores offering their products (including Macy’s).
    I think the real question is: Who fact-checks the blogs written here?
    To the writer of this blog, I think it would be worth your effort to do your own due diligence before trying to mar the credibility of the writing for one of the finest shows on TV.
    Read more at http://hotword.dictionary.com/madmen/#pmcJs1xZV2P2FMay.99

    Thank you. :)

    Reply
  3. Engaged -  March 28, 2012 - 9:02 am

    @Mackenzie.. mercedes kenz! i love it! Classic..

    Reply
  4. mary torres so uncuffed -  March 27, 2012 - 2:52 pm

    i have bin in the friend zone for a lond time too

    Reply
  5. Kate -  March 27, 2012 - 11:11 am

    OMG … It’s hilarious to read so many so-called informed readers’ comments. I used to borrow my sisters’ pantyhose and that was in 1965. I would have preferred to wear a garter belt and black stockings, but my Mother explained … “only bad girls wore those.” Let’s fast forward to Victoria Secret’s product line where all women can be “bad” girls and thank God that we live in times where we can wear what we want and not give a flying flip to nay Sayers and hypocrits. Google Gloria Steinem for some eye-opening history on the feminist movement. I wonder what her take is on Mad Men …

    Reply
  6. iris -  March 27, 2012 - 10:25 am

    I am delighted to see any fairly decent scripted non reality show that television writers in 2012 can come up with …Castle ,Harry’s Law,Good Wife … and yes Mad men …at least there is a semblance of thought and fictional creativity …p.s.I remember wearing pantyhose and tights in the 60′s ……

    Reply
  7. Megan Murphy (mrmurp02) | Pearltrees -  March 27, 2012 - 6:14 am

    [...] What's the word problem at the heart of Mad Men? | The Hot Word | Hot & Trending Words Daily Blo… Benjamin Schmidt, a graduate student in intellectual history, has studied this in-depth. Schmidt recently assembled a useful diagram of phrases used in Mad Men that do not appear in books written during that time. The outliers on his diagram show the anachronistic phrases. [...]

    Reply
  8. Nathan -  March 27, 2012 - 6:06 am

    Making a big deal about one misused word makes the article feel petty. Instead it would have been interesting if focused on phrases that were used at the time or ones the show uses well.

    Reply
  9. Jack -  March 27, 2012 - 5:54 am

    If anything I think they chose to use “pantyhose” instead of “stockings” so the audience wouldn’t think of something like Christmas stockings or lingerie.

    Reply
  10. hehehh >:{D -  March 27, 2012 - 5:25 am

    OMIGOD GUYS!!!!!!!!!! seriously people make one slip up and your all over it, they said pantyhose, BIG DEAL!!!!! you dont see people writing big articles like these about one word that they said that was correct now do you???? honestly its a great show, just give them a break!!!!!

    PANTYHOSE

    Reply
  11. EvilyIsMe -  March 27, 2012 - 4:35 am

    @Havaneies Dei
    I think I agree with you the most. They apparently think that 1966-1700 don’t include the 60′s? I’m fairly certain that 1966, 67′, 68′, and 69′ were all a part of the sixties. Even so, pantyhose actually were available by 1962, they were extremely expensive for people back then, but the term and item existed.

    I’m 14 and even I know this stuff… it’s kind of sad that even I noticed the inaccuracy in this article :(

    Reply
  12. Rose -  March 27, 2012 - 2:23 am

    I’m a writer and half the fun of setting a piece in a particular era is to get this sort of thing right. Someone will always point it out if you don’t. I have never watched the show but probably will now.

    Reply
  13. eh -  March 26, 2012 - 10:58 pm

    anybody who’s actually interested in these stufs is such a…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… wierdo.

    Reply
  14. eh -  March 26, 2012 - 10:57 pm

    who even cares?

    Reply
  15. eh -  March 26, 2012 - 10:54 pm

    why do we even need to know these stuff?

    Reply
  16. Pickle -  March 26, 2012 - 9:20 pm

    Just to throw a further aspect into the debate the term, pantyhose did not get taken up acoss the Atlantic. In England , what Americans call pantyhose we simply call tights! Tights are the single item worn on both legs as opposed to stockings where you have one for each leg supported by a suspender belt or with elastic tops.
    As for Mad Men, I think it highly likely the term was used by advertising agencies before being commonly adopted by the public.

    Reply
  17. D -  March 26, 2012 - 7:59 pm

    This is Dictionary.com trying to be topical and failing.

    Reply
  18. Erin G. -  March 26, 2012 - 4:06 pm

    lol but more like limh (laughing in my head)

    Reply
  19. Erin G. -  March 26, 2012 - 4:02 pm

    haha thats kind of funny but i doubt they care that pantyhose was not used in the 60′s but i guess its still kind of embarassing and not realistic…..On the other hand i would’ve thought nylons was more modern and pantyhose was used back then

    Reply
  20. . -  March 26, 2012 - 3:53 pm

    Reply
  21. Afghan Whig -  March 26, 2012 - 3:33 pm

    I wasn’t looking to Mad Men for an accurate depiction of American Culture in the first place. But if I wanted to know how a handful of pluged-in television producers see that era…

    Reply
  22. Adam -  March 26, 2012 - 3:21 pm

    Sounds to me like this should – if anything – be a one-line entry into the “goofs” section for that episode on imdb. “They referred to them as ‘pantyhose’ when Topaz actually called them ‘stockings.’”

    An article critiquing the language used on the show, based on comparisons to books and television written during that time period, is weak, at best. If you want to do a serious study, talk to language experts, or better yet, to people who were alive during that time – many of whom have commented here and said, in short, that your article is ridiculous.

    I was hoping for something intelligent and useful, but all I saw was poorly researched assumptions.

    Reply
  23. No Name -  March 26, 2012 - 1:24 pm

    i am anonymous……………………………

    i live in NJ, but which town?\

    how the heck r u supposed to know that? whatevs imma borede

    Reply
  24. Mackenzie -  March 26, 2012 - 1:22 pm

    theres supposed 2 be more space between the scroll down and scroll up…..

    and sorry Peeta is the baker’s son, not the baker!

    i messed up….

    love, peace, kenz :)

    kenzie, kenzy, frenzy, mercedes kenz, kenzometer, kenzolina, mack, kenziepoo, kenz, MACKENZIE (my nicknames…LOL…which 1 do u like best?

    Reply
  25. Katelyn Venezia -  March 26, 2012 - 1:20 pm

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I can’t believe that happened in the mad men movie.

    Reply
  26. Mickey Rat -  March 26, 2012 - 12:16 pm

    O.K jeez, I didn’t even say anything hurtful. You remind me of my brother, Mickey Mouse. I was always the younger rodent so he would always beat me up.

    Reply
  27. Maxwell Montague -  March 26, 2012 - 12:11 pm

    To: Mickey Rat
    Stay out of thy Montague and Capulet’s feuding, Rat Face! The day is young, and you are night, coming and fighting your way till everything is dark and dreary. if twill will make another sarcastic comment, thou will pay!
    Depart All!

    Reply
  28. mika clark -  March 26, 2012 - 11:42 am

    anyone going to see the Hunger Games

    Reply
  29. barbstadt -  March 26, 2012 - 11:36 am

    Hi Dictionarions.com,
    It seems to me, after just signing up for this site yesterday–and discovering a listserve (word? LOL!) related to words–that insofar as this intense and quick response/reaction to the “Mad Men” query, this could very well be an even “higher” or more relevant point to the question at hand regarding the veracity of the linquistics in a period piece television series.

    The sum is greater than the whole is an oft welcomed phrase. The point of the discussion/query this week or day regarding language on “MM” is not the real point as I see it from fresh (?) eyes: the point is ht ediscussion about word usage, discourse, linguistics, syntax, and all the other “cool” nouns that egg head word freaks like “us” love to use. We use words about and for words. It would be pure madness–for men or women–if the discussion about words was not couched within a context of some sort that is designed for the masses, i.e., accessible to just about anybody who can gain access to this site, similarly, if not more easily has had and continues to have easy access to the medium of television and its popular culture. Hence, the question seems successful to me in terms of linking both a familiar subject matter with th etrue matter of the heart of this site: language and those who loveto use it, analyze it and love it! Thank you, Barbara P.S. I can see how addicting this site could be for me.
    A warning, if you will, should I pop in again more regularly. I cannot type per se; please forgive typo’s when they appear–sometimes glaringly. Thanks for helping me fing a community!

    Reply
  30. MDH -  March 26, 2012 - 10:33 am

    There’s an issue beyond the word being in use. There are also word usages. in last night’s episode the most egregious of those was the secretary saying “…really?” in response to Roger Sterling’s complaint that she wasn’t working in front of his office. If I’m not mistaken – “…really?” in this sort of teenage drawl began about five years ago. And really caught on with ‘real housewives’ within two years.

    Reply
  31. robinski -  March 26, 2012 - 9:20 am

    cyberquill must be too young to remember a time before cell phones.

    Reply
  32. HG -  March 26, 2012 - 9:12 am

    I’m 55. I remember pantyhose appearing in my sisters’ bathroom about 1965 or so.

    Reply
  33. ColinB -  March 26, 2012 - 8:28 am

    The point is that not only was the word (relatively) unknown, pantyhose themselves were more-or-less unknown – or at least not at all common. Women wore stockings, i.e. a separate item for each leg. As somebody rightly remarked, panythose only became usual after the miniskirt became popular – which was actually several years after Mary Quant first presented it in 1964. (From about 1964-1966 the miniskirt was considered by a majority to be “disgraceful”, “scandalous”, “ungodly” and worse!)

    Reply
  34. MissGingerly -  March 26, 2012 - 7:50 am

    hahaha so many commenters are so old! AHAHA

    Reply
  35. MissGingerly -  March 26, 2012 - 7:29 am

    hey everybody lets dance bob marley jammin jams up in here
    Wooted to torres!!

    Reply
  36. svp -  March 26, 2012 - 6:45 am

    Enough about the pantyhose issue! I’m sure there are other words and phrases that are used that weren’t popular or “invented” until after the 60′s that appear on the show. I have noticed in other shows, like M.A.S.H., that certain words and/or phrases were used matter-of-factly but could not have been around in the early 50′s.

    Whatever it’s faults, Mad Men is fun to watch. Having friends and family in the Ad business during that time, I have insite into the accuracy of the shennagans that went on. Dead on.

    Reply
  37. Maxwell Montague -  March 26, 2012 - 6:44 am

    O woe! O woeful, woeful, woeful, day! Christian, is thou so satisfied as to strike this article with regards to mad men with a plague of your undesirable comment. I think not. I am Montague, here thy name, hence we are enemys to Capulet’s. you do not speak as if you were yourself a Shakespearean fact, but speak as if you were against are creations. Tempt not a desperate man? to strike upon us commenters twill we surrender to thou feet. say it again, and you will wake up in the morning a grave man Capulet. I hope i shan’t see more of this again Capulet

    Exit Maxwell

    Reply
  38. Getta Grip -  March 26, 2012 - 5:41 am

    Wow … if media/folks woulda spent a fraction of the time vetting the words of a 2008 presidential candidate as they do the dialogue of a cable TV show …

    Reply
  39. nothanks -  March 26, 2012 - 5:28 am

    this is not important.

    Reply
  40. Anglina -  March 26, 2012 - 3:55 am

    it is successful show and i love this show. By the interesting comments lolzz

    Reply
  41. Hot boy -  March 26, 2012 - 1:22 am

    lol
    wuz mad men set in the 1970′s or 60′s?

    Reply
  42. Amy-lee jameseon -  March 26, 2012 - 12:06 am

    I like pie :)

    Reply
  43. palabra -  March 25, 2012 - 10:16 pm

    My grandmother used the word “nylons” and “stockings” she never used pantyhose. She also used the word “dungarees” to describe jeans. ha ha. It was so funny all the little words she used to describe things. Completely different then today. Nobody would know what she was talking about today.

    Reply
  44. Mrs. B -  March 25, 2012 - 9:52 pm

    The Oxford English Dictionary’s earliest attestation of ‘Panti Hose’ is from 1959 in McCalls.

    Reply
  45. Miss Gina Champagne -  March 25, 2012 - 9:51 pm

    I was born in 1955, and am still a pretty hip babe here in 2012. Regardless of whether “pantyhose” was at the time an accurate term, I did then, and always will, call them “stockings.” It is not only a safe and eternally accurate designation, but a much sexier mental image as well. Long live “Mad Men” for their recreation, on even an extremely rarely imperfect level, of an era which was both madness and glorious.

    Reply
  46. Moe -  March 25, 2012 - 8:57 pm

    I just hope to God that in 30 years we aren’t judged by whatever lingo people pull out of their backsides these days…

    Reply
  47. korath -  March 25, 2012 - 6:56 pm

    the mistake is men XD

    Reply
  48. Kevin -  March 25, 2012 - 6:15 pm

    Writers can always misuse words; but they need to use emphatic words appropriate to the time period as much as possible, or the audience may be drawn out of the crafted world (also known as Secondary World) and realize how fake it is (as all of us now see).

    Reply
  49. Mackenzie -  March 25, 2012 - 5:22 pm

    todays my friends bday…im bored DONT JUDGE ME

    im weird, ok?

    Reply
  50. CarolTheArtist -  March 25, 2012 - 5:13 pm

    I remember that pantyhose were expensive when they first came out, so my parents were loathe for us to spend the money. They had three daughters and they were hoping we’d wear knee sox as long as we could! Just think – at that time a family of five had a grocery bill of $25/week. So Pantyhose was out there, but the only ones wearing them were the ultra-hip — like the sophisticates in ad agencies – and the privileged. Still, i do remember that in 1964 I had a pair, and it was all i could do to keep them from getting runs. We were even using clear nail polish to try to extend the life of a pair of pantyhose.

    Re: accuracy — i can tell you, the show is pretty accurate for a 60s ad agency in terms of characters’ behavior. Ad agencies were still like that in many ways through the early 80s, and I know this because i was there. Everyone was smoking (it was hard to work there as a non-smoker) and my bosses always had liquor in their offices. Male bosses regularly hit on the women. Not very nice for the women!

    Reply
  51. Mackenzie -  March 25, 2012 - 5:12 pm

    hey yall how ya doing? i always loved dictionary.com, but after reading this i wuz like WHO CARES??!!!!? its still such a great show and paying attention to things like this is just stupid… SOWWY…. aight bye ppl…..

    i don feel like typin out words so i use txtin language…lol…

    tbh i don care whether or not mad men writers or what not made a mistake its not like the world is ending….so next time dictionary.com pleez write an article tht is not so specific and if thts wat ur supposed to do, well then, uhhhhhhhh….
    sowwy if i wuz rude to u but trust me ppl will like this site better with the cool word meaning things…

    Reply
  52. MommyToriWrites -  March 25, 2012 - 4:38 pm

    Kermit’s middle initial is D. His name is Kermit D. Frog. That’s how he introduces himself when he’s giving a new report.

    Reply
  53. Richard Teichler -  March 25, 2012 - 3:36 pm

    Good catch but look too closely and you forget to enjoy it. This is entertainment TV- Not a reenactment.

    Reply
  54. The Starcatcher -  March 25, 2012 - 2:20 pm

    Um,seriously? Does this even really matter? I thought the whole point of a TV show was to entertain people, not to doubt the writer’s ability to research clothing items.
    Just sayin’.

    Reply
  55. e_canuck -  March 25, 2012 - 12:14 pm

    I wondered a little about “pantyhose” being worn and spoken of so early in the ’60s on the show as we didn’t have them or name them as such till years later up here in the backwater of Pacific NW in Canada–but those New Yorkers are sooo sophisticated, well, I didn’t twitch too much.

    I’ve been more distracted with this show using catch phrases that seem anachronistic–the only one I can think of at the moment is “in the loop”. Web search suggests thatis a 70s idiom, too early for the mouths of these ad men and women.

    Reply
  56. Vanessa -  March 25, 2012 - 11:45 am

    Life Magazine: October 11, 1963, Page 60: Topaz advertisement includes Panti-Hose. They had a store in NYC at 19 West 36 Street. The advertisement also says, “Look for a complete wardrobe of Topaz Stockings, Panti-Hose, Tights, and Lycra Support Stockings” at [a list of] other stores offering their products (including Macy’s).
    I think the real question is: Who fact-checks the blogs written here?
    To the writer of this blog, I think it would be worth your effort to do your own due diligence before trying to mar the credibility of the writing for one of the finest shows on TV.

    Reply
  57. Erik H. -  March 25, 2012 - 11:18 am

    Pantyhose were around before they were CALLED ‘Pantyhose’.
    (The article here is correct).

    They were tights (around for hundreds and hundreds of years) (still worn longer by Men than Women throughout history) and just became more sheer. Especially with the invention of “Nylon” (1st called ‘Norlon’ …& a few other names).

    Pantyhose WERE around in the 1950′s! Again, they were not called, “Pantyhose”, but they were around. Look at the movie “Daddy Long Legs” (made in 1954, released in 1955 and most every girl is wearing sheer Pantyhose!). Look at the movie ‘Silk Stockings’ (Made in 1956, released in 1957) (don’t let the title fool you, many girls are obviously wearing sheer Pantyhose – and even one girl wearing Pantyhose with back-seams (yes waist to toes). Marilyn Monroe modeled sheer Pantyhose (and a bodystocking!). Bettie Page modeled sheer black Pantyhose many times (yes, we know the stockings pics are on the lunch-box, but look into it and you will see she wore Pantyhose many times – and the Men went ga-ga!).
    - After being called “Tights”, they were called “sheer tights” (as they still call them in England/Scotland/Ireland). Then they were called “Nylons”. (‘Nylons’ still loosely refers to both Pantyhose & stockings). About the same time, when the very sheer Pantyhose were quickly becoming the most popular, their name went to “seamless stockings” (meaning no back seam or top (stocking-top) seam. Then, “garter-free stockings”. Then “Panty & hose”. Then “Panty Hose” (2 words). (was sometimes spelled, “Panti Hose”) – and as we Americans like to shorten words and talk fast, they became, “Pantyhose”.
    - With some bad accents, fast talking and poor / lazy pronounciation, “PanTyhose” (pronounced regally as, “Pahn-Tee-HoSe”) sadly became pronounced, “panny hoze”.
    Along with this bad pronunciation AND Pantyhose being the most ‘feminine’ articles of clothing – the word itself became thee punchline to oh so many jokes. It could even be the punchline w/out a joke – simply pointing to a tough looking Man and assuredly saying, “Pantyhose” – boom there’s the joke. So with this stigma, people became afraid of mentioning any attraction to silky pantyhose on a beautiful woman – admitting to liking this “thing” left you open for asault of jokes, mockery, being called gay or a cross dresser, ‘panty-waist’, etc. Also, along the lines of being called ‘gay’ – when Pantyhose came out, a few ‘guys’ complained out loud about not having such immediate very easy access. You know, the type of guys that want/wanted to quick do their ‘thing’ and get it over with. (is that sexy?) “Phil Hartman as sort of Frank Sinatra on “S-n-L”, “That’s what I say, tro (throw) a bag ova her head and do your business and get out.” Most other Men would not complain or defend that statement as how could Gentlemen (way back then) stand-up for something that these loud-mouths were barking about ‘slowing down sex’. ? How would that make them look? This was not during the times of “Queer eye for the straight guy” I assure you.

    The movie, “Peggy Sue got married” shows some fun glances at the invention of Pantyhose – which if you read the script was supposed to be a huge part of the movie – but was sadly cut out. The movie takes place in 1960, so they were already off with trying to show the ‘invention’ of them (the did show ‘Peggy Sue, who traveled through time back to 1960, asking a Women’s Lingerie store clerk (female), “Do you have Pantyhose?” CLERK: Excuse me, what? P.SUE: “Pantyhose, you know.” CLERK: “Panty – Hose??” Seeing that people did not know of them (or the name) she decided that she and her friend were going to be the inventors of, “I’m talking about the wave of the future!” The film then shows Peggy Sue knitting a leotard bottom to a pair of sheer stockings. (A’la Ann Miller and Alan Gant’s wife & others). But again, the year 1960 was off – Pantyhose (the article of clothing, not the name itself) had been around since the 1950′s. Alan Gant (noted as one of the inventors of Pantyhose) his niece mentioned to him, after seeing a ballet that the more sheer tights should be an everyday thing.

    :)
    Ladies, we adore you in alluring high quality Pantyhose. (Even if we are too shy to admit it at first!)
    E-

    Reply
  58. Larry Shelton -  March 25, 2012 - 9:50 am

    Anytime you work with words, it’s a wonderful thing. They are the very fabric of being human. The words and sayings of different eras are what we use to remember them by and when someone inserts a button in King Arthur’s wardrobe or puts a proper contraction into Shakespeare, it lessens it just a little. I think the really appalling thing, if there is one, about something like “MadMen” is that it trys to portray that era in the way it does. I know “Father Knows Best” was not an accurate, typical family, but when I watch an episode of that, compared to MadMen, one makes me feel like the world is a decent place and the other makes me want to go take a shower.

    Reply
  59. Chip -  March 25, 2012 - 7:05 am

    After graduation from high school in 1963 I worked in a shoe store & I recall a woman coming in to purchase a pair of pantyhose. That would have been the summer of 1964.

    Reply
  60. Pervert -  March 25, 2012 - 7:03 am

    LOL

    There were 69 comments
    I’m number 70
    Isn’t this whole thing awko taco with extra guaco

    Reply
  61. sadie -  March 25, 2012 - 5:40 am

    I’d like to point out that I do not speak or write in a similar fashion to today’s tv shows. However, unlike many of today’s celebrities, I can tell left from right.

    Reply
  62. Karen -  March 25, 2012 - 5:30 am

    If it were a historical documentary or drama, I’d probably quail at the inaccuracy. Mad Men is mostly fiction though, so the supposed anachronisms are forgivable. Besides, if the terms used make it easier to convey the idea to the audience, then that’s fine by me.

    Reply
  63. Honeylishuss -  March 25, 2012 - 3:04 am

    I can remember wearing panty hose by 1964

    Reply
  64. Kik: CuteChick77 -  March 24, 2012 - 8:28 pm

    XD

    Reply
  65. Kik: CuteChick77 -  March 24, 2012 - 8:26 pm

    if someone is bothered to look for a tiny mistake in a t.v show word choice, then THEY HAVE NO LIFE?! what benifit are they going to get from fixing pantyhose to stocking?!

    ohh yeah add me on kik :) CuteChick77

    Reply
  66. Shrapnel -  March 24, 2012 - 6:34 pm

    I always found Mad Men boring… maybe it was because my friend made me watch it with her and didn’t have the manners to start at episode one. Whether I liked it or not, it wouldn’t matter to me whether they say ‘pantyhose’ or ‘nylons’. This show is supposed to be accurate but because I’m in the 21st century I still know what they mean. At least they use proper English unlike the majority of people today. I bet a lot of people alive today can’t even spell ‘nylons’.

    Reply
  67. Lenee -  March 24, 2012 - 3:38 pm

    I’m 33 and grew up calling them nylons. Still do

    Reply
  68. Mitch -  March 24, 2012 - 12:47 pm

    Linguist John McWhorter wrote about this in the New Republic blog some years back. Peggy uses the phrase: “I’m in a good place right now.” He remarked that that cliche or turn of phrase wasn’t current in 1963. Of course it could have been something she came up with spontaneously.

    Other examples: Peggy saying “the medium is the message” a few years before that McLuhanism became current; Joan saying “1960, I am so over you;” Don saying “The window for this apology is closing;” and Roger’s “I know you have to be on the same page as him.” Phrases like these only came into common usage after the period the show depicts was over.

    Then there are the techological and typographical anachronisms. They used electric typewriters some months before they would have gone on the market because manual typewriters were too noisy. Some of the fonts used in the early episodes weren’t developed or didn’t come into common use until the 1970s.

    Reply
  69. Susie Fuentes -  March 23, 2012 - 10:16 pm

    who cares!? It’s still a greaaaat show!!

    Reply
  70. Emma -  March 23, 2012 - 10:15 pm

    I just found out that! :) My Brother, Daniel got jealous of me for just knowing all this! :D Thanks, dictionary.com! :) You helped me with a lot of my education!!!!!!

    Yours sincerely,

    Emma Chen

    Reply
  71. Creep -  March 23, 2012 - 9:40 pm

    Hopefully, Cyberquill is joking… I haven’t even seen an entire episode, mostly advertisements for it, and right off the bat I could tell it was based in the ’50s or ’60s.

    Reply
  72. Christian Capulet -  March 23, 2012 - 8:38 pm

    Hey everybody, I’m a little shy so please don’t tease me, but i’m making a movie. Its called the Teddy Truman show. its a movie about a guy who lives in a town that gets invaded, and isn’t aware that its on national television. He learns that he is the second person to be in this situation and that a man named Jimmy Farrie was also in this. He gets help from a lady named Cat Nips and Beeta Boner Bella. I always have a creative streak going on in my little mind. If you like my idea say In your commen: I Think the Teddy Truman Show should be made. I’m having a little trouble getting it past the goverment because they think its a rip off of the Hunger Games and The Truman show. I’m thinking about getting actors, the following:

    Matthew Lillard: Teddy Truman
    Jim Carrey’s Dad: Old Contestant, Jimmie Farrie
    Justin Bieber: drunenk kid who spills the beans that the guy is in a show, named Paris
    Sarah Palin: The lady who was running for vice is finally trying to be an actor! She will be the producer of the Teddy Truman show. named Ima Ashol
    Selina Gomez: Cat Nips
    Johah Hill: Beeta Boner Bella
    Charlie Sheen: Guy in the street who is paris’s dad. He is smoking pot in a alley way. We didn’t need to actually let him know we where filming him
    Rupert Egrint: Hey we can’t let Daniel Radcliffe get all the fame can we! he will be playing the director of the show Mr. Stoner
    Christian Capulet: sexy man who happened to get in the film. he is a model who protests for teddies freedom
    and finaly… Sean Connery will be playing Dr. Mike Evil. who lets a pack of rabid dogs into the studio. good to have a little Scottish blood in the studio, or where ever he lives.

    So thats basically it. If you have different opinions on the casting, please let me know. I’m a little low on funds at the momento so the only way I could get this out is to write this on this article that talkes about pantyhoses. Remeber! Comment!

    Christian Capulet Out!

    P.S next year I’m going to be making a film called Jurass or your money park. Its going to be awesome.

    Reply
  73. Debi -  March 23, 2012 - 4:21 pm

    Right Back at You Ethan! Was only trying to relate what actually happened back in the 60′s. Get the feeling no one really wants to know, especially not from someone who was actually there, and is therefore OLD. If it’s a good show, why not just enjoy it warts and all. And if you’re lucky…you’ll get to be my age…and then YOU can talk about the good old days…and realize that no one cares!
    PEACE

    Reply
  74. Jan -  March 23, 2012 - 4:10 pm

    The first hit on a Google images search for _topaz stockings_ turned up a copy of an ad from the October 11, 1963, issue of Life magazine, advertizing Topaz “Crazy Legs Agilon Panti-hose” (complete with model – gasp!), and shows where they’re sold, including “Macy’s: All NY stores”, so there doesn’t seem to be any anachronism there.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=WFIEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA60&lpg=PA60&dq=topaz+stockings&source=bl&ots=igAWi5SfNM&sig=VFS0d2p8xIQRlpnvJdvYjeDkGOY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qgBtT_6BAcW_tgetv8yZBg&ved=0CEsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=topaz%20stockings&f=false
    (Sorry for the long link, but it does work and I wasn’t sure I could post HTML in this comment.)

    Reply
  75. Vicaari -  March 23, 2012 - 2:20 pm

    Nice to know

    Thanks

    Reply
  76. mary torres so uncuffed -  March 23, 2012 - 1:47 pm

    reggaeton is the best thing to dance to lol ;)

    Reply
  77. Ann lee -  March 23, 2012 - 1:43 pm

    Have we nothing better to do? I thought you use dictionaries to learn about words, not stupid TV shows. Guess I was wrong. Very disappointing article.

    Reply
  78. iwannaknowwwwwwww -  March 23, 2012 - 1:39 pm

    do you guys have crushes?????? girl or boy?

    i know its none of my business and i should myob but i kinda need help and get advice about how 2 see if my crush likes me back…

    Reply
  79. Mackenzie -  March 23, 2012 - 1:37 pm

    haha mickey rat……..

    i dont really care what word they use. a pantyhose and a stocking are the same thing. richard has proof

    Hunger games: Katniss is a hunter… (Kat/cat)
    Peeta is a baker…(Peeta bread)

    catniss and peeta bread…
    HAVE FUN WATCHING THE MOVIE TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! love, peace, kenz

    Reply
  80. MissGingerly -  March 23, 2012 - 9:26 am

    maybe we should be spending less time watching tv hmm??

    d.r.b. mmm-kay haah ;)

    Reply
  81. MissGingerly -  March 23, 2012 - 9:22 am

    i too like- comment of david michael smith

    Reply
  82. MissGingerly -  March 23, 2012 - 9:08 am

    hmmm funny how i browsed some affiliated websites and saw many variations of this madmen concern
    -will not insert comment on my views about that [lol]-except for… not cool…i sit sadfaced! :/

    -now i understand a comment i once read which detailed this exact thing

    oh well, life is good and i still love u best dictionary.com! :)

    -sincerly
    Miss Ginger aka awesome!

    Reply
  83. John -  March 23, 2012 - 8:57 am

    Wikipedia says they were patented in 1956. Plenty of time for different terms for them to come and go. I think someone’s getting their panties in a knot.

    Reply
  84. Lerioc -  March 23, 2012 - 8:16 am

    clark52 has been waiting a LONG time to use “schadenfreude” in a post and his time HAS COME!!!

    Did you rehearse that?

    Yeah a little, felt a little rushed… did I rush it?

    Nah…it was very convincing…

    Reply
  85. piratedavy -  March 23, 2012 - 8:08 am

    Larry – Chaucer is Middle English (just sayin’).

    … I really *really* hope Cyberquill was being silly.

    … And KERMIT HAS A CELL PHONE?!!

    Reply
  86. Lucious -  March 23, 2012 - 8:07 am

    THat was so LEGEND (wait for it) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..DARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  87. LOVELYLADY -  March 23, 2012 - 7:52 am

    This is an AD agency. They are in the cutting age of all products. I think they had the product known as pantyhose to try to get it to catch on and sell. That is what they do. So, it did not catch on for a while. The product was expensive. Some ladies don’t like the fact that one leg can get a run and you are done with it. Sounds feasable that they got the product before it caught on.

    I am so looking forward to seeing all my MAD MEN!

    Reply
  88. Chellspecker -  March 23, 2012 - 7:23 am

    If you click the link and look at the original research by Benjamin Schmidt that this article is based on, you can see there are quite a few errors in the writing of the show. There’s a very good article in the Atlantic on his research. He’s done similar work on the dialogue from Downton Abbey, set just before the outbreak of World War One. It raises some interesting questions about language usage and evolution, but nothing to shade anyone’s perspective or get in a flap about, one would hope. It’s a television show, not a murder trial.

    Reply
  89. ilcorago -  March 23, 2012 - 6:03 am

    Sorry, but in this case, Benjamin Schmidt’s research is wrong. I am looking at a Topaz Panti-Hose ad on page 60 of a LIFE Magazine dated October 11, 1963. I’d say this shades my perspective of Schmidt’s research and its accuracy. Fashion mavens – do your homework!

    Reply
  90. Margaret -  March 23, 2012 - 5:24 am

    I noticed and queried the reference to pantyhose at the time but forgave it. Something I cant agree with though is the portrayal of Conrad Hilton, having met him in 1966. I had the privilege of working for his nephew for 5 years and he agrees that Mr Hilton would never have been so intimate with an advertising executive. Makes a great story line though. I think the show is excellent and having lived through the era in my twenties it is great to recall the style of office atmosphere.and behaviour of staff and take comfort that women are no longer so underrated in business today.

    Reply
  91. Mickey Rat -  March 23, 2012 - 5:14 am

    e-v-i-l is my name. Hello commenters. I am Mickey Rat. Mickey Mouses bro. I like to give people life threatening diseases because i am a vermin. If you think mickey mouse is dumb comment “Mickey Rat is awesome and Mickey Mouse should be roadkill” thanks.

    P.S this article is so dumb. the only thing that mad is me, Mickey Rat, Ha Ha Ha (cough, wheeze) HA!!!!

    Reply
  92. Dani -  March 23, 2012 - 4:47 am

    With any period production there’s bound to be some anachronisms, either in word or action. Mad Men does an admirable job avoiding them on both counts, but I agree that the shows emphasis on the negative aspects of the time gets off-putting after a while, at least for me. Everyone has a hidden agenda, everyone is either shafting someone or getting the shaft. Too depressing. So I’ve been a sporadic viewer at best. But kudos to the makers of MM for attempting to give us a glimpse of the era and corporate culture of the day.

    Reply
  93. stilltinyclanger -  March 22, 2012 - 11:49 pm

    I’m guessing the above comments are from American posters. I started wearing ‘pantyhose’ in the early sixties, we just called them ‘tights’.

    Reply
  94. Claire -  March 22, 2012 - 11:20 pm

    lol i already know that but not very clearly…. Thanks! ;)

    Reply
  95. Mikeismike -  March 22, 2012 - 10:58 pm

    On a whim, I did a search for “Topaz Nylons” and “Topaz Pantyhose” on Google.com, respectively. Both referred me to an digitized issue of LIFE magazine, dated Oct. 11, 1963. It featured a half-page ad touting the virtues of Topaz Nylons, and NEW Topaz “Crazy Legs” Panty-Hose (the text in the ad was hyphenated, which is why I did so here). I’d say that falls pretty much right in the timeline of the episode you mention. It’s not a huge leap of logic to assume that Don (a male) would call them “Nylons” or “Stockings” because that was the established term for the product for years, previously. His familiarity with them would likely not have gone beyond admiring them being worn. Women who purchased and wore the product would likely be familiar with the newest offerings by the company, and more likely to use the term “panty-hose” before Don (and other bosses and husbands) even knew the product or the term existed.

    All that said and done, it’s well beyond any research I would normally do for any movie or television program I watch, even if I thought I’d noticed a continuity error (such as the one you brought up). That said, it’s certainly *not* more than I would have expected a professional writer to do, before claiming the knowledge or expertise to cite something as an unnoticed error on the part of the show’s production staff. It was the very first hit on Google, for goodness sakes. Were you that desperate for subject matter this week? You could have done much better.

    This is the link

    Reply
  96. Nicholas Kronos -  March 22, 2012 - 10:15 pm

    In contrast to some, I found this piece interesting, but nonetheless: “a useful diagram of phrases.” Useful? Really? That is, if you’re going to nitpick a word like pantyhose, then consider whether the diagram is truly useful.

    Reply
  97. David J Brennan -  March 22, 2012 - 9:54 pm

    Even if the writers were off by a decade or less as far as “pantyhose” being in regular circulation, the fact that this article mentions Draper’s use of “nylon” reminds me of one of the most, if not the best, line of the entire show from the pilot when Draper dines with Rachel Menken: “She won’t get married because she’s never been in love. I think I wrote that, to sell nylons… By love you mean big lightning bolts to the heart, where you can’t eat and you can’t work, and you just run off and get married and make babies. The reason you haven’t felt is because it doesn’t exist. What you call love was invented by guys like me…to sell nylons”.
    I guess my point is that the show has too many moments like this that outweigh any sort of language error to be critical to its, “purity” or whatever. But it’s still interesting to see how the accuracy of the show extends to language, not just set designs, fashion and the like.

    Reply
  98. Rocka -  March 22, 2012 - 9:01 pm

    I meant if you didn’t realise it WAS in the 60s

    Reply
  99. Rocka -  March 22, 2012 - 9:00 pm

    @Cyberquill: If you didn’t realised it wasn’t in the 60′s I guess you shouldn’t even watch the show.

    Saved by the bell Tv Show would be better suited for you.

    Reply
  100. jessie -  March 22, 2012 - 8:44 pm

    I don’t know what word they got wrong, but they defintely got the idea that we live in a “patriarchy” wrong. A show called Mad Women would be more accurate.

    Reply
  101. Andy -  March 22, 2012 - 8:42 pm

    Dr. OutreAmour, it says, “television shows and movies in the ’60s, like the Twilight Zone and Dr. Strangelove.” I was also going to point out that Dr. Strangelove is a movie and not a show, but then I had the sense to re-read the fragment and make sure the mistake was not on my part. And indeed, it was.

    Reply
  102. Vanessa -  March 22, 2012 - 8:35 pm

    “Early in the show, pantyhose appeared in Peggy’s apartment, and fashion mavens quickly pointed out that pantyhose were not worn in the 1960s. [...] The writers got one thing right. Topaz was an actual brand of nylons in the 1960s, but they weren’t called pantyhose.”

    Wait, what? First you say they weren’t worn at all, then you say they were worn and were just called by a different name? I’m afraid this destroys any credibility or even coherence you might have hoped to achieve.

    Reply
  103. jerk -  March 22, 2012 - 8:10 pm

    i….maybe….not and reckon and maybe so.
    dela volo day lalaaaa…Me ku fuhi:)

    Reply
  104. MsWormwood -  March 22, 2012 - 7:45 pm

    Advertisers INVENT new words for products.

    Reply
  105. Havaneiss Dei -  March 22, 2012 - 7:06 pm

    My opinion regarding the accuracy of the article is colored by these quotes taken from within a single paragraph:

    “Early in the show, pantyhose appeared in Peggy’s apartment, and fashion mavens quickly pointed out that pantyhose were not worn in the 1960s. The language problem, though, is that the word “pantyhose” was not even used. The word was not used until after 1966 and not regularly until the 1970s.”

    Believe it or not, many people believe that 1966 and the other years between 1966 and 1970 all happened during the 1960s.

    Reply
  106. 1963 -  March 22, 2012 - 6:49 pm

    Pantyhose is attested from 1963 in my etymology dictionary.

    This poor choice of topic shades my perspective of the writer and his or her accuracy.

    Reply
  107. ethan -  March 22, 2012 - 5:57 pm

    O my god who the hell cares.

    Reply
  108. Debi J. -  March 22, 2012 - 5:51 pm

    Well…I received my first pair of yes, PANTY HOSE…on Christmas 1962. I was 12 and had up to that point, worn stockings with girdles. We all wore girdles in those days, even though most of us didn’t need them. I’ve never seen Mad Men, but can say that they are right on using that word combo. Sadly, I’ve never had a pair that fit that well…since… Oh and I was probably one of the first to wear “thigh highs”…in the late 60′s. They really made you feel free! By the way, it’s my birthday today, and of course you can figure out my age…my husband is at work so my special day is a bit of a downer. But I’m still here and feel 24 inside! And look pretty good on the outside too…or so he tells me…

    Reply
  109. Peter -  March 22, 2012 - 5:50 pm

    Get over it. It’s entertainment – not a history book!

    Reply
  110. THE Caitlyn -  March 22, 2012 - 5:49 pm

    My dad watches this show… I’ve never really watched it b4. Lol :)

    Reply
  111. THE Caitlyn -  March 22, 2012 - 5:47 pm

    My dad likes this show…. i’ve never really watched it. LLLOOOOOLLLLLLL :)

    Reply
  112. Virginia -  March 22, 2012 - 5:46 pm

    I did wear pantyhose in the 1960′s.

    Reply
  113. BundysHunney -  March 22, 2012 - 5:06 pm

    My comment refers back to Dr. OutreArmour . . .

    . . . compares the dialogue in Mad Men to the dialogue in television shows and movies in the ’60s, like the Twilight Zone and
    Dr. Strangelove. . .i.e.: television shows; the Twilight Zone, movies;
    Dr. Strangelove. . . rather than stating what is or isn’t a TV show, perhaps Dr. OutreArmour needs to read and understand what is being stated.

    Reply
  114. A Illes -  March 22, 2012 - 4:59 pm

    Don’t forget about Don Draper’s incorrect etymology of ‘nostalgia’ in his famous Kodak Carousel pitch. Although who knows if it’s actually part of Don’s character, an uneducated rural Midwesterner, to have made up whatever was convenient, not knowing the real origin of the word, and gotten it wrong.

    Reply
  115. schan564 -  March 22, 2012 - 4:58 pm

    If we start picking on every little detail how will these TV shows be any fun?!

    Reply
  116. sammyc12 -  March 22, 2012 - 4:57 pm

    Wow. Thats all I have to say. Wow

    Reply
  117. jay selvey -  March 22, 2012 - 4:01 pm

    @Mad Woman; that was a day when men were men and women were scared. I was there, ah; the days of yore! No wonder you don’t like it. All this modern thinking bulltwinkie didn’t exist then.

    Reply
  118. J-Wu33 -  March 22, 2012 - 3:28 pm

    Really?

    Reply
  119. Lynda -  March 22, 2012 - 3:28 pm

    If I were watching the show to see how many times they goof, I don’t think I would get much out of the show. I like the show too much to do that to myself. If this were for a history class, that would be different but this is purely entertainment.

    Reply
  120. Isobel -  March 22, 2012 - 3:25 pm

    This article is ridiculous because who cares if they got 1 word wrong. Why would it affect everybodies thoughts of the show? It doesn’t matter!

    Reply
  121. GrayKat -  March 22, 2012 - 3:20 pm

    I would have loved pantyhose back in the 60s, but they were not available. They started showing up in the very late 60s but were pricey until a new company with gimmicky egg packaging showed up in the 70s. If they want a “period plot” to stand up, get the details right. Otherwise the show is just some antique fantasy road show.
    And, no, I don’t watch it. I lived through it once and that was quite enough, thank you.

    Reply
  122. clarkd52 -  March 22, 2012 - 1:52 pm

    It doesn’t shade my opinion cause I don’t really like the show. It’s too formulaic and its schadenfreude too blatant. However, I love shows about the future. One has to worry now, do THEY get the language right.
    Oh, and I was just kidding about the Schadenfreude, but I really liked this article and I like how you guys keep cranking them out regardless of the juvenile criticism.

    Reply
  123. Larry -  March 22, 2012 - 1:30 pm

    One of my favorite movies of all time is Errol Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood. I believe had they spoken the original Old English of the time that I wouldn’t have understood a word. Just try to read Chaucer. Better the way it is.

    Reply
  124. bob smellington -  March 22, 2012 - 1:24 pm

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    yo read the 2 above comments

    Reply
  125. bob smellington -  March 22, 2012 - 1:23 pm

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREAD THE ABOVE COMMENT

    Reply
  126. David Michael Smith -  March 22, 2012 - 1:14 pm

    If one is looking for accuracy of virtually any kind on television, one might also look for palm trees in the Arctic, the street address of the Tooth Fairy, or perhaps the cell phone number for Kermit the Frog.

    Reply
  127. mkvinc -  March 22, 2012 - 12:41 pm

    Pantyhose came into use in the mid-60′s when skirts became too short to use nylons and garterbelts. We called it pantyhose too!

    Reply
  128. Becky -  March 22, 2012 - 12:31 pm

    Maybe they can’t call them “Topaz stockings” or “Topaz nylons” or whatever they were actually called in the ’60s because of modern-day copyright mumbo-jumbo, so calling them “Topaz Pantyhose” was how they got away with using the actual Topaz brand. I also agree that some younger viewers might be confused with either the terms ‘nylons’ or ‘stockings’ and so calling them pantyhose, a term which might not have been in full use but was certainly starting to pop up here and there by that time period, was the best decision all the way around. As for the chairs with five legs instead of four, that one’s probably more of a whoops.

    Reply
  129. tosha -  March 22, 2012 - 11:23 am

    I don’t watch this show, but i just checked on IMDB, and this show’s been running for 5 years now!
    If “pantyhose” and “5th leg on a table” are only complaints you can find in 5 years of running, then the whole show can be considered to be nothing short of perfect.

    When i saw the title, i expected something much bigger at the heart of this article.

    Reply
  130. MAD WOMAN -  March 22, 2012 - 10:47 am

    i don’t care the show sucks!

    Reply
  131. Anto -  March 22, 2012 - 10:27 am

    “Does this poor word choice shade your perspective of the show and its accuracy?”

    It doesn’t shade my perspective, it just reminds me that it’s a show, not a time-machine.

    First, your point has no true validity since you’re talking about a 5-10 years difference for the use of the word nylons/pantyhose, which surely is an incremental evolution. It’s not like everyone switched overnight. Plus, as Richard mentioned earlier, advertising profesionnals would have been the first ones to set the pace for a new word, so it all falls into place.

    I would appreciate a genuine game of anachronism spotting, but you set yourself to destroy Mad Men’s credibility on pointless examples. And it remains a fiction..

    Reply
  132. MADMEN | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  March 22, 2012 - 9:52 am

    [...] ‘MadMen’, Mad Cow. — What’s the difference anyhow — It all affects the mind. — Whether eating, watching, thinking, — Without some anachronistic inkling — Oh life should be so kind. — There’s one more special effect still guiding us blind. — It’s the secrets that they keep — that lure us into sleep. — Blow the horn and whistle. — Clean the liver with milk thistle. — Reality is Onions this or then. — Marketing is cool: — the Power over every Fool — We really need a smoke — take another toke. — Hasa Diga, Cow — Where’s the when and what’s the now — or the perception of terrorists then or anyhow, Madmen? –>>L.T.Rhyme [...]

    Reply
  133. Dr. OutreAmour -  March 22, 2012 - 9:32 am

    Dr. Strangelove was a movie, not a television show.

    Reply
  134. steve moores -  March 22, 2012 - 9:24 am

    Your title. Mad Men not as accurate as it may seen. pot/kettle!!!

    Reply
  135. Jerry Traylor -  March 22, 2012 - 9:17 am

    I think i spotted an error in the office furniture on one episode. The swivel desk chairs had five legs, not four-which would have been the standard in the 60s. Five legs came about later as a safety improvement- probably an OSHA issue..

    Reply
  136. haliburton76 -  March 22, 2012 - 9:11 am

    It’s hard to argue with the hot word’s finding of an anachronism. However, the Mad Men writers faced a dilemma. If the characters called them “nylons,” viewers today (many of whom were not even alive in the 1960s) would probably assume they meant “stockings,” two separate leggings that need garters. This is not the same thing as “pantyhose,” a single piece. Rather than confuse the average viewer, they chose a slight anachronism. In my book, the writers are completely forgiven! Bring on the show …

    Reply
  137. Mofo -  March 22, 2012 - 9:03 am

    Isn’t it amazing what passes for “information” on the Internet?

    I remember the women in my family using the term “pantyhose” in the 1960s. It was a big deal for them to be able to afford pantyhose back then and they talked about it a lot it seems.

    Generally I don’t like sitcoms and newer dramas so I have only seen Mad Men a few times. However, to me, the show seems to represent the 1960s fairly well. The producers have taken pains to include enough visual cues, misogyny, bigotry to alert us to the fact that the 1960s are being portrayed.

    Reply
  138. coldbear -  March 22, 2012 - 8:07 am

    I’ve never watched the show (for no other reason than just not taking the time), so I didn’t know this. However, I have noticed verbal anachronisms from other shows and movies, such as “That 70s Show.”

    The article pointed out fairly well the difficulty of acquiring the correct language for period pieces like this. However, how many of Today’s TV Watchers would understand all of the dialog? Especially for dramas depicting older eras.

    Reply
  139. Ingenious -  March 22, 2012 - 8:01 am

    I can’t take Cyberquill’s comment seriously.

    But, to answer the blog’s question, no, the poor word choice does not shade my perspective of the show and its accuracy. “Pantyhose” and other misplaced anachronisms by less than a decade (or half a decade) hardly tarnishes the show’s credibility. In my opinion, it remains a relatively spot on character study of the era.

    Reply
  140. Katelyn -  March 22, 2012 - 7:47 am

    Such a problem for a true story like this…Oh, it’s fiction?

    Reply
  141. William Griffin -  March 22, 2012 - 7:27 am

    I believe in the first show or shows there were references to John F. Kennedy being elected which would have been in November of 1960… that pretty much sets the tone … later there are some subtle references to advisers in a place called Vietnam … that would have occurred about 1963 … and no one thought much about it. It is a great show, but it’s for we nostalgic boomers in many ways to relive our high school years, our graduation, going off to college, into the work world or into war and reminiscing about things in ways that are more glamorous than they may have been … such is the license of show biz and our memories.

    Reply
  142. Popotan -  March 22, 2012 - 7:19 am

    Cyberquill is being funny.

    Reply
  143. tdog -  March 22, 2012 - 6:46 am

    Save the anachronisms a word cloud of popular books or movies compared to Mad Men dialogue does not mean the dialogue is entirely out of sync. This presumption assumes that the language used in books or tv shows of the 50/60s is the same as that used in regular dialogue of the 50s/60s. Because of censorship, poetic license etc this is not a valid presumption.

    For example, nobody talked like any characters from Shakespeare plays during the Elizabethan era when we was writing plays.

    Reply
  144. Joe Blough -  March 22, 2012 - 6:43 am

    Cyberquill are you really being truthful?
    Didn’t all of the smoking and drinking or cars or hats let you see that this was a period piece?
    Even the episodes that were in California had hairstyles and black porters/servants and 1960′s furniture.

    Reply
  145. Serendipity12 -  March 22, 2012 - 6:43 am

    I would imagine that if they chose to do a storyline about a certain products (such as Topaz Stockings) that someone would take the time to research what they were actually called. I think that if the clothing, furniture and products are accurate that they would want the dialogue to fall in line also. Just sayin.

    Reply
  146. Richard -  March 22, 2012 - 3:59 am

    This article is ridiculous. Professionals in the advertising industry would be among the first to use a new name for a product. The show is set in the 1960s. And if you search the word ‘pantyhose’ on dictionary.com it says:

    pant·y·hose
       [pan-tee-hohz]
    noun
    ( used with a plural verb ) a one-piece, skintight garment worn by women, combining panties and stockings.
    Also, panty hose, pantihose.

    Origin:
    1960–65

    So where’s the inaccuracy, again?

    Reply
  147. Cyberquill -  March 21, 2012 - 7:40 pm

    The first time I watched an episode of Mad Men I had no idea it was set in the 1960s (as opposed to today) until about 2/3rds into the show and only because it began to strike me as odd that all characters used landlines and no one had a cell phone.

    Reply

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