Category Archives: Anecdotes

Gleanings From The Past #39

Color Blind The crier employed by an auctioneer in Portsmouth, among other articles, cried white silk stockings, of all colors. — Chaplet of Comus, 1811 Precise Pronunciation A gentleman of the bar in Ireland walking one day with a friend, … Continue reading

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Gleanings From The Past #38

Irish Speak An Irishman, being ask’d if he understood French? Reply’d, “Yes, Joy, I understand French perfectly well, provided it’s spoken in Irish.” — Xavier Méfret, French and English Self-taught, 1882

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Gleanings From The Past #37

Published A disappointed literary aspirant, weary of having his articles declined with thanks, and doubtful of his critics’ infallibility, copied out ‘Samson Agonistes,’ which he rechristened ‘Like a Giant Refreshed,’ and the manuscript, as an original work of his own, … Continue reading

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Gleanings From The Past #32

An Excellent Dog One of the carriers of a New York paper, called the Advocate, having become indisposed, his son took his place; but not knowing the subscribers he was to supply, he took for his guide a dog which … Continue reading

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When Frank Nelson Cole Factored A Large Number During A “Lecture”

For around 200 years, several mathematicians had surmised that the Mersenne number 267 – 1 may be prime. However, French mathematician Édouard Lucas proved in 1876 that 267 – 1 can be factored and hence, not a prime. However, he was … Continue reading

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Gleanings From The Past #16

Taxing Air Voltaire related to Mr. Sherlock an anecdote of Swift. Lady Carteret, wife of the lord lieutenant, said to Swift, “The air of Ireland is very excellent and healthy.” “Madam,” said Swift, “don’t say so in England; for if … Continue reading

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An I For An Eye: Napoleon’s Palindrome

“Able was I ere I saw Elba” is a famous palindrome attributed to Napoleon Bonapart. However, there is no concrete evidence that Napoleon himself created this palindrome. The Quote Investigator argued that Napoleon didn’t make this palindrome since it first … Continue reading

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