So After reading countless articles on here it seems my definition of "Retro" differs quite a bit in some cases from some of the posters on here.
So to satiate my curiosity I propose an experiment: give a definition that suits you for the following terms Classic Retro antique old school ancient vintage moldy oldy oldies golden age period era dated seasoned nostalgic
might also be a good thread to dredge up old terms like gnarly that don't get used anymore
See this is why I sometimes hate this site. I posted a very elaborate reply and posted it and the stupid site signed me out. Anyways, here's what I think:
Classic: Something that has stood the test of time, was popular and noteworthy when it was made and still is. Examples: The Goonies, the first Final Fantasy game, Shakespeare's Midsummer's Night Dream.
Retro: Something that comes from a time period that had previously gone out of style and is now back in style. The thing in question might never have gone out of style, but is from a time period that has definately. So while things from the 60's, 70's and 80's are definately retro, I would still consider the latter part of the 90's at least to be out of style enough to not be considered retro yet (for example, when was the last time you saw someone wearing a leather mini skirt paired with a baby blue mohair sweater? that was the mall trip outfit of choice for girls in 97 when I graduated high school, but lately? NO). I also think that you can consider something retro as long as it is no more than 100 years old. So an art deco poster or lamp would still be considered retro.
antique: Something that hails from the past that has genuine artistic merit and tangible cash value. While some will argue that a baseball card could be considered an antique if it were valuable enough, it doesn't have the same artistic merit that a painting would have.
old school: Something that is popular now that was popular when you were a kid. Usually refers to a way of doing something than an object itself. For instance, there is old school rap, which refers to artists like Run DMC, but also to more current artists like Gnarls Barkley who's music could be considered old school style. Something brand new could be old school as long as the style was something that happened ago.
ancient: Something created by a culture that does not exist anymore due to changes in society. For example: cave paintings, victorian undergarments, the Venus Di Milo.
vintage: Something that is retro but also has intrinsic value, whether it is monetary or fashion value. For example, a scratched up copy of Michael Jackson's Thriller would merely be retro, but a mint condition copy would be vintage. A Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress from 1977 would be vintage, as would a pair of acid washed Levis from 1986.
moldy oldy: Something old that more or less should be forgotten about as it no longer has relevance and it is hard to obtain entertainment from it other than camp value. Usually only used in connection to music. Examples: gospel albums from the 50's, while they might have hilarious photos on the covers, chances are you'll never listen to the songs.
oldies: Almost exclusively is used to describe music from at least 20 years ago. So yes, that means that Borderline by Madonna is an oldie, but Erotica is not.
golden age: Used to denote the time period when something was at its height of excellence as generally considered by critics and fans alike. For exampe the golden age of gaming comes from the time period when the SNES, Genesis and Playstation were created. The golden age of slasher movies is the mid 70's to the early 80's. The golden age of the Simpsons is usually considered seasons 3-8 (but that's debatable).
period: A span of time which is represented by the stylistic and artistic leanings of the time. For example, the Baroque Period or the Impressionist Period.
era: A span of time which is represented by not only the artistic leanings of the time but also by the political, religious, and other leanings of the time. For example the Dark Ages, the Victorian Era.
dated: A way of describing something perjoratively to denote that something is old and therefore no longer cool. For example: While I love The Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, I'll be the first to admit that the special effects are dated.
seasoned: Someone or something who's background and experience in something has given him knowledge of things the average person wouldn't have. A seasoned gamer might be able to pick up new games with no problem and beat your ass at others. A seasoned fisherman would know just where to fish to get the big ones and what kinds of bait to use.
nostalgic: The positive feelings associated with your own memories. People are not nostalgic about the same things, and you can't pigeonhole nostalgia into a time period. I was born in 1979 so I wasn't watching the Disney Channel in the mid 90's so I have no nostalgic feelings for the 101 Dalmatians cartoon. But you probably didn't grow up in my town in northern Maine, so you have no nostalgic feelings for Sherman Mills. I might not have nostalgic feelings for your mom's meatloaf, and you probably don't have nostalgic feelings for the pizza nights my parents had every friday. And indeed, because we're talking about memories, you might very well have nostalgic feelings about a movie you saw two years ago, just as easily as I could have nostalgic feelings for a movie I saw 20 years ago.
great and interesting reply goblyn thanks for taking the time. Your response was well thought out and intriguing. Here is my own spin on these phrases
Classic: i liked your version and agree. A classic is something that was generally the best of something and was universally admired. I would say that Goonies qualifies as a classic 80's movie and NES is the classic gaming platform of the 80's.
Retro: I am not sure if retro came from retrospective or retrograde but my take on retro is something no longer seen or found nowadays but that was popular or familiar in the past. Old toys, movies, cartoons, T.V. shows, clothes, and other entertainment or consumer products could be considered retro. Pegging pants (rolling up your pant leg a certain way at the end so it was tighter is definitely 80's retro. safety pins in clothes too) Retro items generally trigger a nostalgic feeling for those who remember the items. Something is retro generally if it comes from a person's youth as this is the period from which most people tend to reminisce and tends to be the most memorable for someone. So retro for my dad would be different than for me. If retro things come back in fashion/production are they still retro or are they revived? Captn Crunch cereal has been around for a long time but is it retro? no I wouldnt say so, but certain cereal boxes, comercials, toys or memorable events associated with the cereal definitely are retro and it would be different from person to person. Something that never really leaves the popular cultural image like say Bob Marley or the beatles who seem to have a new batch of fans in every generation wouldn't be retro either, but certain posters, T-shirts or original records or cds might be. I would say a good rule of thumb is it has to be at least 18 years old to be retro because that is the age of kids growing up and living their school years and generally the age of transition from adolesents to adults. If it is newer than that then the current generation is still living it in a sense. so for me the border of retro would be 1990.
Antique: so for me an antique is something that is no longer in production and has been preserved from the time period in which it was common. generally the value of an antique goes up with age due to the rarity of finding an item in good condition in the present time. I would say 100 years is a good ballpark for something to be antique like furniture but something could be considerably younger than that if they no longer make it and the value goes up due to rarity and condition of the item. Metal toys from the 50's might be considered antique.
old school:Old School for me is a phrase relating to how something was done in the past that no longer applies to the current generation. Things such as show and tell, or wearing a mask to school is generally old school because it no longer is allowed by kids at Halloween. Old school could also apply to the style of something if that style is no longer in use by the current generation. old school rap was a good example.
ancient:from the past but too old to be memorable.
vintage: clearly from the wine terminology to mean of a certain date. I think the same term applies to pop culture as long as you reference the date. Metal lunch pals have been around a long time and some are 80's vintage or some 70's vintage etc. Using vintage out of context gets confusing. Just saying this is vintage leave the person guessing. Jack Black in the movie High Fidelity says something like "Hey man if you had ripped this I would've socked your nose, its vintage!" He was referring to a vintage 80's jacket or shirt but without the visual cues from the movie the vintage reference is confusing.
moldy oldy: Something generally unappreciated by later generations. music, movies or t.v. shows from a bygone era that no longer generate a fan base.
oldies: Music that is generally at least 20 years old. It is hilarious to hear teenagers these days talking about 80's music as oldies. Sad but true. Could also mean something from the previous generation in general. Your parents ______ is considered oldies.
golden age: the pinnacle of achievement for a certain product or topic. The classic's in any genre stem from its golden age. the golden age of Cartoons was definitely Saturday mornings in the 80's
Period:A similar term to vintage in my book. If you are talking about clothing from the 1940's you can say Velcro isn't period. Or leg warmers are 80's period fashion.
era :the time frame where a item or product debuts or becomes widely known. 80's was definitely the arcade era. Text messaging is from this generation's era.
dated : Something easily recognisable due to it's age. "Dude your M.C. Hammer pants are dated." Something out of fashion or style with the current trend.
seasoned :Something or someone that has been around for a while.
nostalgic: 1. reminiscent of one's childhood. 2. A fond memory that one might have forgotten and brings joy when recalled. I don't think everything we remember is nostalgic I had spaghetti last week but remembering that certainly isnt nostalgic. What kind of shoes I had three years ago isnt nostalgic for me either but remembering old toys I had forgotten about is.