Sunday, December 17, 2006

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. Doris Day enjoyed such a squeaky-clean image that she was referred to as ‘the professional virgin.’
More details

2. The mandolin gets its name from the Italian word for ‘almond’ (mandorla) because of the supposed resemblance of its shape to the nut.
More details

3. In competitive swimming, the backstroke is the only stroke that’s not started by a dive.
More details

4. A retronym is an adjective-noun pairing generated by a change in the meaning of the noun, usually because of advances in technology. Eg. Silent movies were simply known as movies, until  talking movies came along - forcing the retronym, silent movies. Black and white television was simply television until color television came along - thereby creating the retronym ‘black and white television.’
More details

5. The China Syndrome - an anti-nuclear power movie about a nuclear plant that almost blows up and the ensuing cover-up - was released on March 16, 1979 just 12 days before America’s most serious reactor accident at Three Mile Island on March 28, 1979.
More details

6. Although surrealism was primarily an art movement, the term itself was coined by the poet Guillame Apollinaire in 1917.
More details

7. The word ‘sinister’ meaning ‘suggestive of evil or harm’ is derived from the latin word for ‘left’ (the opposite of ‘right’) - sinistre.
More details

8. Although Mark Twain wrote in his autobiography that The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer (1874) is the first novel whose manuscript was typed using a typewriter, careful research has proven that he got it wrong. That honour goes to Twain’s Life On the Mississippi (1882.)
More details

9. The phrase ‘the American Dream’ was coined by writer and historian James Truslow Adams in 1931 and was originally intended to depict equality across class borders.
More details

10. A phillumenist is a collector of matchboxes or matchbox labels.
More details

/archive/10 things

misentropy


Sign up to receive The Future of Advertising newsletter in your inbox every Thursday, or view The Future of Advertising archive for past editions.