The demise of a shared culture

Today at work, I caught a lot of flak for using the phrase "jaundiced eye". Apparently nobody knew what it meant, and thought it meant "yellow" in the literal sense. Here's Wikipedia's take:

It was once believed persons suffering from the medical condition jaundice saw everything as yellow. By extension, the jaundiced eye came to mean a prejudiced view, usually rather negative or critical. Alexander Pope, in 'An Essay on Criticism' (1711), wrote: "All seems infected that the infected spy, As all looks yellow to the jaundiced eye." Similarly in the mid 19th century the English poet Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote in the poem 'Locksley Hall': "So I triumphe'd ere my passion sweeping thro' me left me dry, left me with the palsied heart, and left me with a jaundiced eye."
The fact that nobody in an office environment knew this really upset me. Almost as bad, a few days earlier a rather unpleasant former coworkers was hospitalized. One of his few friends started a collection, and I mused if the required emergency surgury was nicknamed "The Tin Woodsman".


Nobody seemed to get that either. It's not exactly obscure, here... its a Best Picture nominee with a sizeable legacy and what's called the best film soundtrack of all time. A reference to it? Forget it!