Background

Everything I put up on Wikipedia gets wiped so I am putting it all up here in my own way -- mostly stuff that Wikipedia does not have in English. Mainly information about operetta but some other topics as well

Friday, June 22, 2018

"Trim Taut & Terrific"


Have you used that expression?  I use it to describe (say) an athletic young woman.  But if you Google it you will find it as a description of a lot of things.  So where does that phrase come from?  I know but seeing nobody else seem to know, I thought I had better put it online.

Back in the 60's, when a lot of people went rather mad (I was there!), there was a washing machine manufacturer in South Australia called Lightburn. Eventually however they got bored with making washing machines and had dreams of making a motor car. And they did -- using their washing machine factory for the purpose. It was called the Lightburn Zeta.  It seems to have been inspired by East Germany's Trabant. Maybe Mr Lightburn was a Communist. About 400 of them were made

Any way the Zeta gave the Trabant a run for its money for flimsiness.  Though it was at least mainly made of steel rather than the plastic of the Trabant.  It was very small and powered by two stroke motors, presumably bought in from some motorbike manufacturer.  But it was a very light vehicle so a motorbike motor could push it along.

It's most amazing feature was that it had no reverse gear.  To reverse it you had to stop the motor and then start it again.  So that gave you four reverse gears. I did tell you this was the 60s!



Anyway, there was really only one good thing about it: The advertising slogan. Somehow their advertising agency had a stroke of inspiration and described the Zeta as everyhing it was not: "Trim Taut & Terrific".  And that then took off as a description of many things

Even the Wikipedia entry on the Zeta does not know of its slogan so it is sort of lucky that it has stuck in my aged brain -- probably because I thought it was hilarious from the beginning.

I would add the information to the Wikipedia entry except that they always wipe everything I put up.  They have got a whole team of "editors' who seem to spend all their time wiping entries they regard as "unsuitable".  I will probably add this post to my personal Wikipedia. My personal Wikipedia has lot of information about operetta that is not elsewhere available in English but it was still not good enough for Wikipedia

A final note:  You will find here a description of something that is said to be "Trim Taut & Terrific" but also "small, but perfectly formed".  That is a rather weird  combination. "Small, but perfectly formed" was originally a description of Alexander the Great -- a Greek King from about 300 BC

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