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Noteworthy Superman dates to remember...
November 2: Supergirl Season 1, Episode 2 'Stronger Together' airs on CBS at 8.00pm.
November 7: Traditionally recognized as the birthday of Martha Kent, Clark Kent's adoptive mother.
November 9: Supergirl Season 1, Episode 3 'Fight or Flight' airs on CBS at 8.00pm.
November 10: 'Justice League Unlimited: The Complete Series' released on Blu-ray.
November 11: Calista Kay Flockhart, Cat Grant in the 2015 Supergirl TV series, born in Freeport, Illinois in 1964.
November 12: Bob Holiday, Superman/Clark Kent in the broadway musical comedy It's a Bird It's a Plane It's Superman born in 1932.
November 14: Writer Elliot S! Maggin (Last Son of Krypton, Miracle Monday and so much more) born in 1950.
November 16: Harry Lennix, General Swanwick in the 2013 Man of Steel movie, born in Chicago, Illinois in 1964.
November 16: Supergirl Season 1, Episode 5 'Livewire' airs on CBS at 8.00pm.
November 17: Justice League animated series makes its debut on television in 2001.
November 18: With the release of Superman #75, the nation mourns the death of a hero in 1992.
November 20: Phyllis Thaxter, Martha Kent in Superman: The Movie, born in Portland, Maine in 1921.
November 20: Jeremy Jordan, Win Schott in the 2015 Supergirl TV series, born in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1984.
November 21: The Art of the Brick: DC Comics LEGO Exhibition is on display at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia from today until January 31, 2016.
November 23: The theatrical film Superman and the Mole Men premieres in 1951, leading to the successful television series.
November 25: Noel Neill, Lois Lane in the Superman Serials and the 1950s The Adventures of Superman TV series, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA in 1920.
November 27: Patricia Marand, Lois Lane in the broadway musical comedy It's a Bird It's a Plane It's Superman, dies from brain cancer in 2008, aged 74.
November 28: Writer and artist Jerry Ordway (Superman) born in 1957.
November 29: Traditionally recognized as the birthday of Jimmy Olsen.
November 30: Writer and artist Keith Giffen (Legion of Super-Heroes) born in 1952.
We're probably all familiar with the scene in "Superman: The Movie" where Lois asks Clark how he felt about his first day working at the Daily Planet.
Lois: "How'd you like your first day on the job?"
Clark: "Frankly the hours were sort of longer than I expected, but on the whole, I mean meeting you and Jimmy and Mr. White - Gosh on the whole I'd say it's been swell."
Lois: "Swell?" (pause) "You know, Clark, there are very few people left in the world who feel comfortable saying that word."
Clark: "What word?"
Clark: "Really? It always sounded kind of natural."
It was a scene intended to show Lois just how corny and mild mannered Clark was, because by the late 1970s the word "swell" was an outdated slang word that equates to "cool" or "great".
I did some research on the word, and discovered that "swell" was the happenin' slang term of the Roaring Twenties. Having lingered lazily in the English language for over a century, it suddenly burst on the scene around 1920 with attitude written all over it. It defined the rebellious youth culture of that era, a culture fueled by women's rights and anti-Victorian passions that had young people dancing exuberantly.
And "swell" had staying power. Like "cool", it hung on for decades as the number one slang term of approval. But in the mid 1960s "swell" was changed from the rebellious to the cornball. This was because the sixties, like the twenties, witnessed the rise of a rambunctious youth culture that broke with parental traditions bringing with it a new, all-purpose slang term: "cool".
While listening to episodes of the 1940s Superman radio series, I discovered an interesting conversation between Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen, in which Jimmy over uses the word "swell" and Clark Kent admonishes him for it.
The episode aired on March 10, 1941 and was part 3 of the story "Last of the Clipper Ships", an adventure which sees Clark and Jimmy aboard a ship that's supposedly haunted by a ghost known as "The Whistler". Making sure Jimmy is keeping up his school studies, Clark listens as Jimmy reads a character study he's written on the ship's first mate, a man by the name of Teak Barnaby. You can hear the excerpt from this episode below...