Past in Perspective

2018-03-26T23:56:18+05:00

“When things don’t work well in the bedroom, they don’t work well in the living room either”

–William.H.Masters

The living room once for the dead

 

The term ‘living room’ was used in the mid-19thcentury, however before this room was what it is called now, it had a pretty morbid history related to its former name. At the time of World War II, the living room was actually called the ‘dead room’, which was clearly an equally opposite counterpart of the modern name. The reason behind this was that after the World War II influenza spread and a lot of people died because of that. The memorial services of the deceased were held in the front room of the house, where the body was placed inside the casket and mourners came to pay their condolences to the family. Since this room acquired the official status of mourning around the casket before the funeral, hence it was associated with the name the ‘death room’.

Before the late nineteenth century this particular room was also known as the ‘parlor’ coming from the French word that means ‘to speak’ and was associated with activities such as chatting, hanging out, chilling etc. Whatever it may be called now, the living room’s initial morbid history cannot be forgotten; I for now at least will not look at my living room the same way.

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