Do you remember that I showed some cartoons by Heath Robinson (31 May 1872 – 13 September 1944) last year September ? I got several comments mentioning an American cartoonist, whose devices where just like those of Heath Robinson : complicated and too difficult to do simple jobs. His name entered the dictionary expressing that a device is impractical. The same happened with Rube Goldberg.
Wikipedia says:" Reuben Garrett Lucius Goldberg was born July 4, 1883 in San Francisco California to Jewish parents Max and Hannah Goldberg."
"A Rube Goldberg machine, contraption, invention, device, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered or overdone machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883–1970).
Over the years, the expression has expanded to mean any confusing or complicated system. For example, news headlines include "Is Rep. Bill Thomas the Rube Goldberg of Legislative Reform?"and "Retirement 'insurance' as a Rube Goldberg machine".
With thanks to Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC, and Roger, who took over from her. For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar. This week we are looking for words beginning with R