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  #21  
Old 26 January 2016, 08:41 PM
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Personally, I would only take a hot stone to bed if it were at least of the Permian age or older. I have my standards.
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  #22  
Old 26 January 2016, 08:56 PM
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OY, I think you may be envisioning large flames leaping up in the middle of the room.

Again, a properly banked fire is unlikely to throw either flame or spark outside of the area that's been cleared for the fire; it's at least as safe as having somebody routinely carry hot coals across the rest of the house, and probably safer (even aside from the fact that the damped fire will provide a bit of heat to the house overnight; not much, but better than nothing.) And if an area hasn't been properly cleared for the fire, then the house probably burned down before anybody went to bed, anyway.
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  #23  
Old 26 January 2016, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
Couvre-feu simply means to "cover the fire". Specifying just candles and lamps is a bit of an "under-stretch". It would stand to reason that all sources of fire would be extinguished before people retired to bed in the name of safety. Not just lights/candles.

OY
The fire that was specifically covered in a curfew was the main fire. Ash would be placed over the fire to extinguish the flames, but the fire would still be burning beneath the ash. This would make it easier to re-start the fire properly the next morning. Candles and lamps would also need to be extinguished, but these would be blown or snuffed out. A curfew bell would be rung from the church at the time when fires were meant to be covered.

By the way, it is often said, at least in England, that William I introduced the idea of a curfew when he became king. This has no historical evidence.

See (for example): Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 1978.
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  #24  
Old 27 January 2016, 02:17 PM
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OY, when they found Osti (the 5000 year old corpse), one of the things he carried with him appeared to be a moss-lined container for carrying coals.

The biggest problem with the idea of putting out all burning objects before retiring to be is the amount of time it takes to start everything up again from scratch.

Seaboe
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  #25  
Old 27 January 2016, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I have little doubt that the concept of an iron-clad contract comes from the imagery of objects covered in iron plates being highly resistant to attack - but I would be surprised if it came specifically from reference to the first ironclad ships deployed in the US Civil War. Although - ships might have been the first objects referred to as 'ironclad' (I don't think knights were referred to that way, and ironclad wagons, etc. would be too heavy for the horses. Also RR engines and cars were already metal and not really put into positions were cladding would make sense), and the Civil War ironclad battles captured the public imagination the way air battles in WWI did 50 or so years later, so perhaps it was the Civil War era ships that put 'ironclad' as a metaphor for impervious into the public mind.
I would think the term was much older than the civil war. "Old Ironsides" (USS Constitution) was built in 1794. At that time iron clad, sail powered, warships were fairly common and in a fight would usually make short work of any opponent that wasn't iron clad.
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  #26  
Old 27 January 2016, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
I would think the term was much older than the civil war. "Old Ironsides" (USS Constitution) was built in 1794. At that time iron clad, sail powered, warships were fairly common and in a fight would usually make short work of any opponent that wasn't iron clad.
The USS Constitution was not iron clad. The first iron clad warship was launched in 1859 by France.
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  #27  
Old 27 January 2016, 05:37 PM
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Old Ironsides was still made of wood, the nickname was because her sides repelled shot as if they were iron. Iron armored ships did not become common until the mid 19th century.
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  #28  
Old 27 January 2016, 05:45 PM
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Opps, you are both right.

Though "iron clad" still might have derived from a non-iron armored ship's description.
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  #29  
Old 27 January 2016, 10:25 PM
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Dr. Doofenshmirtz: I - I wonder how that word originated. I'm going to look up the entomology (Exits, immediately re-enters). It's the study of insects. Go figure.
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  #30  
Old 29 February 2016, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post

THE WHOLE NINE YARDS

American fighter planes in WW2 had machine guns that were fed by a belt of cartridges. The average plane held belts that were 27 feet (9 yards) long. If the pilot used up all his ammo he was said to have given it the whole nine yards.
Although we're not yet certain of the idiom's precise origin, the above is certainly false as an origin-story because,
  • the oldest recorded use of the expression (found so far) dates to 1907,
  • an equivalent phrase (with identical idiomatic usage) appeared as "the whole six yards" as early as 1912 and persisted into the late 20th century,
  • there's weak evidence that a form involving "three yards" was in use in 1882, and
  • all the above usage instances were in decidedly small-town, civilian contexts.
Quote:
There, don't you feel smarter now?
Why, yes, thanks. Yes, I do.

Bonnie "bullet points" Taylor
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  #31  
Old 29 February 2016, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie View Post
Although we're not yet certain of the idiom's precise origin, the above is certainly false as an origin-story because,
  • the oldest recorded use of the expression (found so far) dates to 1907,
  • an equivalent phrase (with identical idiomatic usage) appeared as "the whole six yards" as early as 1912 and persisted into the late 20th century,
  • there's weak evidence that a form involving "three yards" was in use in 1882, and
  • all the above usage instances were in decidedly small-town, civilian contexts.


Why, yes, thanks. Yes, I do.

Bonnie "bullet points" Taylor
I wonder what that was about.. as there seems to be a progression..3, 6, 9 pretty soon, we'll have to give it the whole 12 meters!


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  #32  
Old 29 February 2016, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
I wonder what that was about.. as there seems to be a progression..3, 6, 9 pretty soon, we'll have to give it the whole 12 meters!
That's what i thought, but I did not take it as a joke. There are lots of things where an amount is initially used, and particularly when the initial use was hyperbole anyway, later users will up the ante. For instance, the phrase 'I would not touch X with a ten-foot pole' became current at some point, but people often felt the need to one-up it, to a 20 foot, 30 foot and even 'a 39 1/2 foot pole' Also, people started talking of giving it your all as giving it 100%, then some wisenheimer said there should be more, saying 110%, and others have used more still. And then there is the volume nob on Spinal Tap's amplifiers. Perhaps, there has been a succession of ever more hyperbolic statements, starting with one or three yards.
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  #33  
Old 29 February 2016, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie View Post
Although we're not yet certain of the idiom's precise origin, the above is certainly false as an origin-story because,[LIST][*]the oldest recorded use of the expression (found so far) dates to 1907,[*]an equivalent phrase (with identical idiomatic usage) appeared as "the whole six yards" as early as 1912 and persisted into the late 20th century,[*]there's weak evidence that a form involving "three yards" was in use in 1882, and[*]all the above usage instances were in decidedly small-town, civilian contexts.
And there wasn't a set amount of ammunition carried by all aircraft anyway. Even among the same model of plane, the ammunition carried could vary depending on the role it was expected to play on a given mission. Fighter planes that were being used to intercept enemy aircraft might carry less ammunition in order to give them better turning and dogfighting ability. Ground-attack aircraft could carry a larger load to allow them to hit more targets.
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  #34  
Old 01 March 2016, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
That's what i thought, but I did not take it as a joke. There are lots of things where an amount is initially used, and particularly when the initial use was hyperbole anyway, later users will up the ante. For instance, the phrase 'I would not touch X with a ten-foot pole' became current at some point, but people often felt the need to one-up it, to a 20 foot, 30 foot and even 'a 39 1/2 foot pole' Also, people started talking of giving it your all as giving it 100%, then some wisenheimer said there should be more, saying 110%, and others have used more still. And then there is the volume nob on Spinal Tap's amplifiers. Perhaps, there has been a succession of ever more hyperbolic statements, starting with one or three yards.
I don't think it will go to 12, because we no longer even know what it referenced in the first place.

The 10, 20 30 foot pole is a solid reference, everyone knows how long the pole is, and that you're using it to touch something. Also, I converted yards to meters, because in the future, people will learn about proper measurements units.

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  #35  
Old 01 March 2016, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
"Before houses had fireplaces" would relegate this to ancient antiquity, though.
I'm pretty sure the Romans used hearths to keep their homes warm and even had a form of "central heating"
There were houses without a fireplace much later, though.

The house that is now the Black House Museum on the Scottish island of Lewis was built as recently as 1875. Here's a picture of the main room, with an open peat fire on the ground:

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  #36  
Old 01 March 2016, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
There were houses without a fireplace much later, though.

The house that is now the Black House Museum on the Scottish island of Lewis was built as recently as 1875. Here's a picture of the main room, with an open peat fire on the ground:

undoubtedly, but by saying "before houses had fireplaces" without restricting it by place, leaves it open to any house that had fireplaces... and fireplaces have been around since way before 1875.
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  #37  
Old 01 March 2016, 08:22 PM
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Neener, Neener

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
I don't think it will go to 12, because we no longer even know what it referenced in the first place.

The 10, 20 30 foot pole is a solid reference, everyone knows how long the pole is, and that you're using it to touch something. Also, I converted yards to meters, because in the future, people will learn about proper measurements units.

So it is your position that we will have to re-dub How the Grinch Stole Christmas to say "a 12 hundred and 4 centimeter pole"*?

*Yes, I used centimeters instead of meters - the lyrical metric worked better and one should generally avoid using decimal points in songs, as an artistic matter.
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  #38  
Old 03 March 2016, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
That's what i thought, but I did not take it as a joke. There are lots of things where an amount is initially used, and particularly when the initial use was hyperbole anyway, later users will up the ante. For instance, the phrase 'I would not touch X with a ten-foot pole' became current at some point, but people often felt the need to one-up it, to a 20 foot, 30 foot and even 'a 39 1/2 foot pole' Also, people started talking of giving it your all as giving it 100%, then some wisenheimer said there should be more, saying 110%, and others have used more still. And then there is the volume nob on Spinal Tap's amplifiers. Perhaps, there has been a succession of ever more hyperbolic statements, starting with one or three yards.
Perhaps, that's the $64 question, I mean the $64,000 question, or maybe:

"Now, the sixty-four million-dollar question. Need one have learned a second language to teach English as a second language?"
Cultural Imperialism and the English Language Teacher; The Korea Times (Seoul, South Korea); Feb 24, 2000.

(Or, in Zimbabwe, the two trillion, three hundred and sixteen billion, one hundred and sixty million dollar question.)
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  #39  
Old 03 March 2016, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
So it is your position that we will have to re-dub How the Grinch Stole Christmas to say "a 12 hundred and 4 centimeter pole"*?

*Yes, I used centimeters instead of meters - the lyrical metric worked better and one should generally avoid using decimal points in songs, as an artistic matter.
In some future, where man lives in space, united together in some kind of organization wear wearing red is a sure sign you will soon die, if they still sing that song, they probably would have changed it...

After all, some politicians here want to change our national anthem to make it gender neutral... so how can a unit of measurement compete?
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  #40  
Old 03 March 2016, 07:51 PM
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If it's edited by Zero Mostel, OK, I'm OK with any changes.

Actually, there was published a non-US version of The Cat in the Hat with 'seven pound shoes' instead of 'ten dollar shoes'. It seems reasonable to change to the metric system as well. After all, most of the books already use the anapestic tetrameter.
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