Thursday, August 11, 2005

one-night stands, indeed

I hope the authors of One-Night Stands with American History don't mind if I share a few choice tidbits from their book:

"The colonial towns of Lyme and New-London[sic], Connecticut, once held conflicting claims to the same piece of land. Its value, at that time, was regarded as a trifling amount - certainly not enough to warrant the appointment of representatives from the two towns to present their cases before the colonial legislature. Instead, the towns agreed on a local solution. Champions were elected - Griswold and Ely for Lyme, and Ricket and Latimer for New-London - and on the appointed day these four met on a designated field and slugged it out with their fists. Griswold and Ely beat up Ricket and Latimer, and Lyme took possession of the disputed tract."

Nice, CT. You always know how to do things the classy way.

"The word "buncombe" and its derivative, "bunk," both meaning "speechmaking to please constituents" or "nonsense," were coined during the debate over the Missouri Compromise of 1820, when Felix Walker, congressman from Buncombe County, North Carolina, stood up in the House and said he wanted "to make a speech for Buncombe." The speech was irrelevant and rambling and transformed the name of the county he represented into a word."

I love etymology.

Also, I learned that Ethan Allen was famous as an atheist in his day. That must explain the furniture (what? no, I have no idea either).

In other news, I heard this joke on the radio earlier today:
Q. What do you give a sick pig?
A. Oinkment.

Not great, but cute enough.

More later as I come across more Neat Facts. xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger

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