Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 08:53:43 -0400

From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU

Subject: Re: "straight drive"

In the mid and late 1950's in the Louisville (KY) area, a manual

transmission was a


'stick shift'


'straight stick'

I never heard the 'full' form 'straight stick shift.'

Automatic transmissions were 'automatic,' never 'automatic shift' (or

'stick'). Therefore, for example, sentences like 'Is it a stick or an

automatic?' were OK, while 'Is it a stick or automatic shift?' sound funny

to me.

Glad to hear that some younguns still use the terminology, but sorry to

hear they don't like the transmission.

Dennis (still a straight stick user) Preston

Dear ADS-listers,

My brother and his girlfriend were visiting this weekend, and she told

me that she was sick of "straight drive" and wanted her next car to be

an automatic. I have never heard this term used to mean standard or

manual transmission. Are any of you familiar with this usage? My

brother's girlfriend is in her 20's and grew up in NW South Carolina

(the Uplands or Upcountry or whatever it's called).


Kathy Burns

Dennis R. Preston

Department of Linguistics and Languages

Michigan State University

East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA


Office: (517)432-1235

Fax: (517)432-2736