Thursday, February 28, 2008

Word Origins: At

History of @

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Everyone knows that we use the @ (pronouce ad) sign to seperate the name and the address of our email.

Ever wonder the history of this sign?

The @ sign was chosen by Mr. Ray Tomlinson, who was in a team to develop the email techonology, to send the first email of the world.

There was no reason support. The history indicated that he just like the sign.

The background of this sign is unclear. Some mentioned that it came from Latin meaning "about." Some said it was a French word meaning "each" and Many said that the @ sign was a measurement unit in Italian.

Anyway, the @ sign is, more or less, the most popular sign nowaday. At least, I'm sure that everyone of you type on the @ keypad almost everyday. Right?

Learning Part
Wonder = Feeling of doubt

Nowaday = Present time

Word Origins: Guinness Book

History of Guinness Book

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Guinness Book was discovered by Sir Huge Beaver. One day in the year 1951, he had an argument with his friends that which type of birds are the fastest in the world.

There was no conclusion at the end because nobody have evidence to prove their assumption.

Beaver came up with the idea that it would be great it we could have a reference book about the most of everything. It could be make a big hit.

Beaver works with Norris and Ross Mcwhirter to publish the first guinness book and gain a huge popularity in the short period of time and became a yearly edition until today.

Learning Part
Evidence = Something helpful to form a conclusion or to support a fact

Prove = To set up a truth

Assumption = Acception of something without a proof.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Word Origins: S.O.S.

History of S.O.S

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S.O.S. is a standard signal to represent that you are in trouble or you need help.

You can represent the signal S.O.S. in many ways such as by light, flag or hands. But do you know why S.O.S. What is it stands for? Why don't we use S.O.S

Actually, there is no complicate reason behind the signal.

In the old time, when Moss code was still the best telecommunication we had. Military relies on the Moss code to communicate with each other.

As we know, Moss code uses the set of dash and dot to represent the character. However, during the crisis, they don't have enough time to send the long code to say "Please help me" or "I am in a big trouble."

Therefore, the military ends up with the easiest Moss code signal set which is S.O.S. to represent the message "help" or "we are in trouble." S.O.S. can be understood by only Dash-Dot-Dash. This way they can send a help message much faster.

Since then, S.O.S. is getting popular and used in other purposes.
Learning Part
Flag = A piece of cloth used as a symbol, standard or signal of something

Stand for = Represent

Complicate = Become complex

Telecommunication = Long distance communication

Word Origins: Hurricane Name

History of Hurricane name?

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How are hurricanes named?

Lots of people think that hurricanes were always named after women - because of our volatile nature, no doubt - and that only recently did they start alternating between male and female names because of feminist outcry.

Not true. Prior to 1950 storms weren't officially named at all.

From 1950 to 1952 they were named simply Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George...not very imaginative, but it sufficed.
From 1953 to 1978 someone decided to use only female names.

Finally, in 1979, they started alternating between male and female names.

Hurricanes are named alphabetically, years in advance and starting the alphabet over each year. (If you get a Hurricane Wanda, you know you have had a busy storm season.)

Learning Part
Volatile = Tending to violence

Alternating = Changing

Word Origins: Roger that

History of "Roger that"

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In military radio communication, the receiver say "roger that" to confirm that they truely understand the message. So, why Roger? Why not John, Smith, Bush or just I got it??? Let me tell you why.

Back to the old time before radio communication was developed, military used Moss code to communicate.

They use the Moss code "R" to represent the word "Receive" ,which later became "yes", to make the communication faster.

When radio communication came to replace the old technology, the letter "R" was still used to represent the "yes."

However, military faced difficulty to pronouce the letter "R" especially in critical situation.

Therefore, they looked for the word to represent the alphabet "R" and here it came Roger.

Today, Roger become a common word in military radio communication to represent the word "yes."

Learning Part
The author plays with the word "berg"

Military = Armed force

Moss code = The first telecommunication use set of dash (long signal) and dot (short signal) to represent characters.

Represent = Indicate by symbols

Critical = Under very serious condition

Alphabet = The letter of a language

Word Origins : Hollywood Sign

History of HOLLYWOOD Sign

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I am sure that everyone has ever seen the big white sign on the top of the hill in Hollywood, Los Angeles before.

The sign HOLLYWOOD is the great symbol of the greatest entertainment city in the world called Hollywood. But how many knows the original purpose of the sign? Not many right?

The HOLLYWOOD sign was first built in 1920 and the full sign is originally read HOLLYWOODLAND with the purpose to advertise some real estate projects in Hollywood city.

The sign became more popular when a hollywood actress name Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping off the letter H.

Few years later, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided to remove the last four letter (LAND) to save electrical cost because the sign has to be illuminated during the night at the Chamber's cost.

The sign is renovated and fixed many times before it became the current version.
Learning Part
The author plays with the word "berg"

Hill = Small mountain

Purpose = The result that is expected to receiving from doing something.

Suicide = Kill youself (usually say "commit suicide)

Chamber of Commerce = An association of businesspersons and merchants for the promotion of commercial interests in the community

Illuminate = To provide the brighten with light

Renovate = To recover something to its previous condition

Word Origins: Ivy League

History of Ivy League

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Ivy league is the term that we have heard many times from movie, magazine etc. but how many would really know what actually is ivy league?

Ivy League is the group of the oldest universities in the United States which are

Brown University, Columbia University, Cornel Universityl, Dartmouth University, Harvard university, Princeton Unviersity, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University

These universities are all located in the northeast of the United States. They are all very popular and known as one of the best universities in the world in various fields of study.

The reason they are called Ivy league because of the beautiful Ivy crawling on their brick walls for more than hundred years.

Learning Part
The author plays with the word "berg"

Ivy = Any of several woody, climbing or trailing evergreen plants .

Crawl = Move slowly on the hands and knees

Brick = A molded block of clay baked until hard and used as a building material.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Word Origins : Nerd

History of Nerd

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The history of the word Nerd is quite interesting.

In the past, the word nerd was spelled Knurd (same pronunciation but different spelling) before changing to the current spelling over time.

If we would carefully notice the word Knurd is a backward spelling of the word Drunk.

As we know, the word drunk is used to call people who like to go out for the parties and drink a lot of alcohol.

Therefore, they use the Knurd (backward of Drunk) to call people who have totally different life style from the Drunk. The nerd doesn't like to go out for a party and doesn't drink alcohol.

Previously, it was just a teasing word created from the student in America but it somehow became incredibly popular in a short period of time.

Today, nerd is no longer a teasing word after the advent of Bill Gates. Who doesn't want to be a nerd?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Word Origins : Ceasar Salad

The History of Ceasar Salad

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If we talk about the word Ceasar I am sure that most people would think about Julius Ceasar, the great King of Egypt.

Also, if we talk about Caesar Salad, one of the most popular salad, many people might think about Julius Ceasar as well and wonder how they are related to each other.

Moreover, many restaurants even use the picture of Julius Caesar to promote their recipe.

However, the real origin of Caesar Salad really have nothing to do with Julius Caesar.

The name came after the cook who invented this recipe. His name is Caesar Cardini. He was a restaurant owner in Mexico who invented the salad back in 1924.

From now on, we should not think about the great King when having Caesar Salad anymore. Instead, maybe we should think about the big cook with a long black moustache. Enjoy your meal.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

Word Origins : OK

The History of OK

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The word O.K. was firstly used in 1838 by Boston newspaper.

They tried to come up with the way to make the journal more interesting by using acronyms such as I.D.N (I don't know).

The acronym was getting distorted from time to time and one of them is O.W. which stands for All right because the pronunciation is similar to Oll Wright as well as O.K. which stands for All Correct because the pronunciation is similar to Oll Korrect.

However, the O.K. would have been forgotten over time had it not been used in the campaign for U.S. President of Martin Van Buren.

The O.K. Club was established to support Van Buren in the election. This O.K. stands for Old Kinderhook which is his hometown. Even though he lost the election it brought a big popularity to the word O.K.

The popularity of O.K. is widesperad and continue until present.

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