now you know

Ever wonder why New York is called The Big Apple, or why Academy Awards are called Oscars? Did you know why the English police force is located at Scotland Yard, and why we say Hello when we answer the telephone?

Frequently, you come across many situations when you know that there are strange reasons for the way certain things are; & that wanting to know these reasons has always been your desire. It’s just that you didn’t know where to look.

Now look no further. Doug Lennox has made a wonderful collection of obscure reasons behind simple everyday things related to people & places, customs, holidays, cultures, language, and animals among others. To quote him, “The DNA of a culture is found within its language and rituals. These are our living links to the past. Without realizing it, hundreds of times each day we express the thoughts and ideas of our ancestors through our words and customs. The custom of two people shaking hands upon meeting comes from a Roman practice, for example, and the expression “sleep tight” dates back to the sixteenth century.”

Here is one remarkable fact from his book NOW YOU KNOW :

Why is a restricted limit called a “deadline”?
A deadline is an absolute limit, usually a time limit, and was popularized by the newspaper business, in which getting stories written and printed on time is of ultimate importance. But the expression comes from American Civil War prisoners, who were kept within crude makeshift boundaries, often just a line scratched in the dirt or an easily breached rail fence. They were told, “If you cross this line, you are dead,” and soon the guards and prisoners simply called it what it was: a deadline.

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