Few things in life feel worse than being woken up from a deep sleep by a screeching alarm clock. One minute you are in the middle of a super slumber and the next minute your clock is yelling at you to get out of bed.
If you are anything like me, you want nothing more than to hit your alarm and go back to sleep.
I have always found it interesting that the phrase “punch the clock” doesn’t refer to the scenario I just spelled out. After all, that is the only time I ever feel like taking a swing at my clock. The rest of the day I have no hard feelings toward my time keeper.
Rather than refer to being woken up from a good night’s sleep, the phrase “punch the clock” is defined as “to go to work everyday.”
Why is that? That is what I want to know in today’s Wonder Why Wednesday…
Where Does The Term “Punch The Clock” Come From?
According to Wiki.Answers.com “punch the clock” originates from the experience of factory workers. “A worker would pick up a time card with his employee number on it. He would then insert the card into a slot in a special clock that would punch coded holes into the card. At the end of the work day, he would insert the same card into the clock when he left the factory. The punched time card was a record of when he entered and left his work place, and used as the basis for computing his pay. He did not actually “punch” the clock, rather, the clock punched his time card.”
While that explanation makes some sense, I think they have it all wrong. As the explanation states, workers don’t actually punch the clock, the clock punches them.
I vote we change the phrase to say “get punched by the clock” and then we can use the original version of “punch the clock” to describe how we react to a rude awakening from an alarm.
I think it would be fun to describe a dream by saying, “I was just about hit the game winning homerun when I heard my alarm and then punched the clock.
Who’s with me??
Photo credit: Wikipedia