How the Internet and WWW all began…sort of…

How the Internet and WWW all got startedMany thanks once again to my good friend Eleanor S. who has passed on this short historical document which explains everything. Well, nearly everything…(original author unknown.)

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot. And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and
long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

And she said unto Abraham, her husband, “why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?” And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, “how, dear?”

And Dot replied, “I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah’s Pony Stable (UPS).”

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent. To prevent neighboring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was known as Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures – Hebrew To The People (HTTP).

And the young men did take to Dot Com’s trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land. And indeed did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates’ drumheads and drumsticks.

And Dot did say, “oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others.” Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or eBay as it came to be known and said, “we need a name that reflects what we are.” To which Dot replied, “Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators.” “YAHOO,” said Abraham. And because it was Dot’s idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.

Abraham’s cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot’s drums to locate things around the countryside. It soon became known as God’s Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE).

That is how it all began.

Or something.

More smiles – and they’re useful, too:

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

“English to English: the A to Z of British-American translations”…more than 2,000 business and social terms from the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

“The English Language Joke book”…hundreds of laughs about this crazy language of ours

 

photo credit: Deivis via photopin cc

P*ss poor and other historical legends … some funny writing!

Have you ever wondered where the term “p*ss poor” comes from? “Don’t have a pot to p*ss in?” Why it’s “raining cats and dogs?”

Many thanks to my good friend Trudy van B for sharing this interesting selection of historical explanations of some popular English words and phrases. These had been shared with her by Judith and Jim of www.JudithandJim.com … but when I clicked through to their website I was told their account had been suspended. Anyway, thanks all the same Judith and Jim – I’m not entirely sure I believe every single word, but it’s fun to read it all!

P*ss poor and other historical legends ... some funny writingSo where did “p*ss poor” come from?

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery…If you had to do this to survive you were “P*ss Poor”.

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot…They “didn’t have a pot to p*ss in” and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500’s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June… However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour.

Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

P*ss poor and other historical legends ... some funny writingBaths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.

Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”

Houses had thatched roofs of thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.

Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.

Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.”

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway.
Hence: a threshold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat.  They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.
Hence the rhyme: “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

P*ss poor and other historical legends ... some funny writingSometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and “chew the fat.”

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the “upper crust.”

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom; “holding a wake.”

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was considered “a dead ringer.”

Now, whoever said history was boring!!!

(And whoever said history was 100 percent accurate!!! …. Sz…)

More funny writing that’s useful for you, too:

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

“English to English: the A to Z of British-American translations”…more than 2,000 business and social terms from the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

“The English Language Joke book”…hundreds of laughs about this crazy language of ours

 

photo credit: Andrei! via photopin cc
photo credit: Phil Scoville via photopin cc
photo credit: echoforsberg via photopin cc

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