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Picture of BobHale
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quote:
Originally posted by sattva:
What I thought in doing this is that I have never heard of any of these words, names, or places. With Ohio, I have been through there quite a few times and didn't remember ever seeing any reference to the place. I use to love looking at maps, too. I couldn't think of ever hearing Columbo's first name, though I knew it was played by Peter Falk. I thought of asking my sister because she like the show a great deal.


Well you were on the right lines there, so count that as a win.
 
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Nothing to do with language here but I thought this was interesting. Elvis Presley's first hit single was in 1956. When was the first known performance by an Elvis impersonator?
 
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Elvis had such a distinctive style that I thought he might be impersonated early in his career. I don't think I was cheating, but I just looked up when his first national appearance was. It was in January of 1956, and he made many tv appearances that year. So, I will guess 1956.
 
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It was either in 1954 or 1955 (sources vary on the exact time), two years before Elvis's first hit. It was a man named Carl Cheesie Nelson who was a friend of Elvis who stood in for him after he had been delayed on his way to a concert and copied his songs and his act.
 
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Did it say how Nelson did in his impersonation, Bob?
 
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I gather that he was a friend of Elvis in the early years and had watched him many times. One site claimed that he was so good that when Elvis turned late instead of starting his own set he allowed Nelson to finish his.
 
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Here’s another multilingual one.
Here are the names of a well-known trio as they are usually given in several other languages. Who are they in English?

Spanish - Jorgito, Juanito, Jaimito
Czech - Kulik, Dulik, Bubik
Hungarian - Tiki, Niki, Viki
Arabic - Soso, Tutu, Lulu
Swedish - Kwik, Kwek, Kwak
French - Riri, Fifi, Loulou
Chinese - Hui, Du, Lu
 
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No idea. Huey Dewey and Louie?
 
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Correct first try! I think the Swedish and Chinese give enough of a clue.
 
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I think we did talk about this once before but here is my next question (and in spite of how it looks, it is English)

Where would you be if you heard someone say "Yan tan tethera methera pip", and what would he be doing?
 
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I can't remember - was it a shepherd? Or a forester?
 
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It was a shepherd. You would be in the north of England and he would be counting sheep. These are traditional words for counting in that part of the world. There is a good, and comprehensive, entry about it in Wikipedia.
 
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It was mostly a guess...
 
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From the latest episode of The Allusionist podcast:

A recent paper has looked at the use of a certain word in The Times newspaper from 1957 to 2017. In that period it has been used to refer to

oysters
student activities
various musical instruments
hats
fragrances
single parent families
spacecraft docking systems
God

and many other things.

What is the word.

(You can hear the discussion on the June 26 2019 edition of the podcast if you want some context, but try to guess it first.)
 
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I haven't listened to it, but I will take a guess, ---myriad. I use that word quite a lot.
 
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Good grief.
Give us a hint will you?
Is it a noun?
 
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The word in question was not always being used with what has become its sole meaning now. It relates now to sexuality.
 
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The word is "bisexual" which in addition to its meaning as "attracted to both sexes" was used in various articles in The Times to mean "suitable for either sex", "hermaphroditic", "changing from one sex to another" (the oysters), "adopting both male and female social roles" (single parent families), the actual mechanics of spacecraft docking systems (as in plugs being 'male' and sockets 'female' in electrical terminology) and something else that I wasn't quite sure I understood in the case of the musical instruments.
 
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Just for Kalleh (not a question... just something she'll find interesting)

I know how taken you were in London with the "Mind The Gap" announcements on the underground. I just discovered something about the original recording of that announcement. When they first proposed it they hired an actor to read it out. However once it was recorded he said he wanted royalties every time it was played. Obviously they said no and instead used a recording of the sound engineer testing the studio recording levels. His name was Peter Lodge. Several other voices have been used over the years but his was the first.
Another interesting fact is that one such recording was by an actor named Oswald Lawrence. It was gradually phased out but his widow wrote to London Transport saying that she hoped they could restore it at her local station as she always looked forward to hearing his voice. Not only did they restore it they gave her a CD recording of it to play at home.
 
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and something else that I wasn't quite sure I understood in the case of the musical instruments.

According to the 1921 article posted here (which sounds ridiculous now), the sexuality of musical instruments was not technical. It came partly from allusions to their shapes, and partly from presumed gender/ sexual orientation of those choosing to play them. [Freud was in the air...]
 
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Great story, Bob, about "Mind the gap." Wink To me it was the use of words. Here in the U.S. we'd just not use that phrase. I love the differences we see with using the English language.
 
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After a rather long gap here is another from No Such Thing As A Fish.


Who recorded the album Best of the Beatles?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,
 
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It is word related, honest!
 
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You are definitely thinking along the right lines.
 
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Then how about Pete?
 
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Yes!
Pete Best, the original drummer with the Beatles - replaced before anyone had even heard of them - released the cunningly titled "Best of the Beatles" which had no tracks by or connection with the Beatles other than that he had, in their early days in Hamburg, been the drummer.

I wonder how many people bought it by mistake.

It's available on Youtube if you are curious.
(And, to be charitable, it's not very good.)
 
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This one is from QI but as No Such Thing As A Fish is a QI spin off, it counts.

They showed a picture of a square and asked

Is this shape
a) a square, a rectangle and an oblong
b) a square and a rectangle but not an oblong
c) an oblong and a square but not a rectangle
d) a square but not a rectangle and not an oblong
e) a triangle

What's the right answer, and why?
 
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B. A square is an equilateral rectangle.
 
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Originally posted by Geoff:
B. A square is an equilateral rectangle.


Then why not an Oblong?
 
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To me an oblong is a shape with a dimension that is significantly longer than the orthogonal dimension - not a requirement for a rectangle and prohibited (as it happens) in a square.
 
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Hmmm, I must get Shu to weigh in. I'd say B, too.
 
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The answer given on the show was that an oblong is specifically defined to have different length and width whereas a rectangle isn't. As always with QI I am a little dubious.
 
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Originally posted by BobHale 5/29/2019:

What do the following have in common...

The photographer Lilian Virginia Mountweazel, the Ohio town of Goblu, Columbo's first name and the words esquivalience, zzxjoanw and jungftak.
quote:
Originally posted by BobHale 6/6/2019:
They are all copyright traps. None of them exist. It is common practice in reference books to include wholly fictitious entries so that if a subsequent book on a similar topic also includes the reference they know that the work has just been copied from them

The 1975 New Columbia Encyclopedia included an entry for Lilian Mountweazel, a completely made up person who allegedly came from Bangs, Ohio and was supposedly killed in an explosion while on a photoshoot which perhaps should have given the game away. The name "Mountweazel" is sometimes used nowadays as a general term meaning a fictitious copyright trap entry.

The 1978 state map of Michigan included the fake towns of Beatosu and Goblu which a little examination reveals as Beat OSU and Go Blu, references to, so I understand, some college football teams.

Columbo's first name appeared as a question in a trivia question in The Trivia Encyclopedia where the answer given was "Philip" though in fact no first name was ever revealed in the series. It resulted in a law suit when the same question and answer appeared in Trivial Pursuit.

Dictionaries are particularly prone to this. The New Oxford American Dictionary defined esquivalience as "wilful avoidence of one's official duties". The 1903 Music Lover's Encyclopedia defined zzxjoanw as a type of Maori drum (even though the language doesn't have J,X or Z). The 1943 Websters included a very odd mountweazel in the word jungftak which was described as a bird where the male had only a right wing and the female only a left wing so that they could only fly by holding on to each other.

Such copyright traps are also common in maps and town plans which often include non existent streets which must be exceptionally annoying for dedicated hikers. I have no idea if The Good Beer Guide includes made up pubs but I can imagine that if it does it would be terrible for my old friend Andrew who would think nothing of making a four or five hour trip on busses and trains to drink half a pint of a beer that he had never had before so that he could tick it off on his list.


And in the same vein - Harry S Truman's full middle name was _____?
 
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Originally posted by haberdasher:

And in the same vein - Harry S Truman's full middle name was _____?

C. But that's in Cyrillic. Now, what was U Thant's first name?
 
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That sounds suspiciously like “What was Richard the Third’s middle name?” ...
 
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My favourite middle name question is one that I have asked before.

What is Michael J Fox's middle name?

Feel free to Google it.
 
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Originally posted by haberdasher:
That sounds suspiciously like “What was Richard the Third’s middle name?” ...
It was "I," as in Richard "III."

As for Michael J. Fox, I had no idea. You've edified me, Bob.

Continuing the theme, what was Calvin Coolidge's middle name?
 
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“What was Richard the Third’s middle name?” ...
quote:
It was "I," as in Richard "III."


I am humbled. I thought it was "the".
 
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...and the Jeopardy-style question whose answer is, "Dr Livingston, I presume."?
 
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Michael J Fox's middle name is...
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
... Andrew
 
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And what of U Thant and Silent Cal Coolidge? We've not determined their full names.
 
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You might know this one...

In 1972 the San Diego Wild Animal Park opened. It had a monorail that ran through the park called the Wgasa Bush Line.

Where did the name come from?
 
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No idea, but I'll guess an Australian Aboriginal language?
 
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The story, confirmed by the park, is that they asked for suggestions and one suggestion was "Wgasa" which they thought sounded like an African word so they adopted it - unaware that it was an acronym for "Who gives a shit anyhow".

Snopes marks this as true with the caveat that they have done so because the park says it's true and they can find no other plausible explanation as it doesn't match a word that they have found in any other language.
 
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...the question whose answer is, "Dr Livingston, I presume."?

...is “What is your full name, Dr. Presume?”

Rest of story - this is attributed to Steve Allen, from a subroutine on one of his shows he called “The Question Man.” Fifties ? Sixties? Richard-the-Third’s middle name came from there, too, as did my all-time favorite:

The answer is “9W.” What’s the question ? [for New Yorkers especially ! ]
 
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No idea about 9W other than my shoe size, but I very much remember Steve Allen. IMO one of the funniest, wittiest, song-writingest polymathic people ever.

It really irked me when, after all the front page anguish over Michael Jackson's death, Steve Allen's death was third page filler if noted at all. But the author of Dumpth wouldn't have been surprised.
 
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The obvious answer is that US Route 9W was the popular route from New York City to the Catskills before they built the Thruway, for escaping the summer NYC heat, and the polio threat, and all that stuff. It went goes from the GW Bridge up the west side of the Hudson River through the New Jersey gasoline price wars ("11 CENTS A GALLON - LAST GAS IN NEW JERSEY!") and delivers you to Route 17, which will take you on through Tuxedo and Monticello via the infamous Wurtsboro Hill, that graveyard of broken fan belts and overheated cars.

Allen had some other ideas about 9W, however...
 
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Michael J Fox's middle name is...
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
... Andrew


There is a bit more. When he registered for SAG there already was a Michael Fox, so it was determined he needed to use his middle name, Andrew. However, He hated the way Michael A. Fox sounded as it seemed like he was referring to himself as one hell of a foxy guy. So - there was an actor Michael J. Pollard, and some think he used the J as a tribute to Michael J. Pollard's acting (he was in Bonnie and Clyde and Herman in the movie Scrooged).

So, there you have it.
 
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IIRC, Mary Tyler Moore's name has similar origins. There was already a Mary Moore on the SAG rolls, soooo...
 
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