Friday, January 31, 2014

Things I Learned in January

It's that time again...a few little things I learned this month. Foreign words, laundry instructions, and a personal tip for playing in the snow:

1. The distress call "Mayday!" is a phonetic/anglicized spelling of the French "m'aider" = help me. I looked up the origin of the word after it was in the news recently when two Toledo firefighters were killed in the line of duty, wondering why in the world you say "mayday" when you need help. Turns out it's French, which makes so much more sense.

2. You should be careful when you flop down in the snow to make a snow angel. If it isn't deep enough, you'll bruise your tailbone. And it will still bother you several weeks later.

3. There's a word for my condition: tsundoku.

4. Whenever I read the instructions on clothing tags that say to turn the item inside out before washing, I never understood why. It's still in the same water, exposed to the same detergent. How on earth would its being inside out make any difference? Martha Stewart to the rescue: this month's issue of Martha Stewart Living explained that you turn dark colors inside out to protect the color from *abrasion*. Well, that makes a lot more sense. I don't know whether it's actually true or actually matters, but at least now I have a reasonable explanation of the logic behind the instruction.

What did you learn in January?

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