The Pattern Still Remains

Collecting snippets of information
Archive   •   Browse   •   Random   •   Mobile   •   RSS   •   Tags


Mourning Colors

Besides black, the following are used as a sign of grief for the dead:

  • black and white striped (South Seas Islanders)
  • grayish brown (Ethiopia)
  • pale brown (Persia)
  • sky-blue (Syria, Cappadocia, Armenia)
  • deep blue (Bokhara)
  • purple and violet (cardinals and kings of France)
  • purple (Turkey)
  • white (China, ancient Rome and Sparta, Spain)
  • yellow (Egypt, Burma)

Handy-book of Literary Curiosities by William S. Walsh, 1892.

Quantity and Value

When emeralds were first discovered in America, a Spaniard carried one to a lapidary in Italy, and asked him what it was worth; he was told a hundred escudos;  he produced a second, which was larger, and that was valued at three hundred.  Overjoyed at this, he took the lapidary to his lodging and shewed him a chest full; but the Italian, seeing so many, dampened his joy by saying, “Ah! ha!  Señor, so many! - these are worth one escudo.”

Curiousities for the Ingenius by Joseph Taylor, 1821.

$ and Pesos

Historically, the Spaniards in the 16th century brought their peso to the New World.  They had abbreviated the peso to a P and pluralized it by placing an S above and to its right; eventually the P was simplified to a single long stroke, and the S placed astride it.  In the 1700s, young America patterned its dollar after the peso and adopted the peso mark - but this mark somehow, and with no explanation whatsoever, now appears with a second oblique line added to its configuration.

Symbol Sourcebook by Henry Dreyfuss, 1972.

Jardin Almande

Jordan almonds have nothing to do with either the river or the country called Jordan.  They come from Spain; the name is a corruption of the Middle English jardin almande, jardin being the French word for “garden.”

The Dictionary of Misinformation by Tom Burnam, 1975.