Category Archives: Anecdotes

Not Lost In Translation: A Curious Language Anecdote

Vladimir Nabokov Vladimir Nabokov, in his 1962 novel Pale Fire, related a remarkable, albeit probably apocryphal, Russian language anecdote. The story went that a newspaper which covered the coronation ceremony of a Tsar “accidentally” misprinted “корона” (korona) (crown) as “ворона” (vorona) (crow). The … Continue reading

Posted in Anecdotes, Language, Oddities | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

Isn’t It Strange?

On one occasion, a young man approached John Wilkes (1725-1797) and remarked, “Isn’t it strange that I was born on the first of January?” He said it as if it was some sort of grand occurrence. “Not strange at all,” Wilkes … Continue reading

Posted in Anecdotes | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Inconsistent Propositions

It was said that when mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was at a dinner party, he stated that “it is useless talking about inconsistent things, from an inconsistent proposition you can prove anything you like.” This can be illustrated … Continue reading

Posted in Anecdotes, Mathematics | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Gleanings From The Past #46

Some Definitions Great Men — Little men who wear high heeled boots. Political Greatness — Moral littleness and inconsistency. — The Olio, Vol. 3, 1829

Posted in Anecdotes, Humor, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Gleanings From the Past #43

Appearance The deepest knowledge will not always command respect, without some attention to personal appearance. Hermannus Buschius, a celebrated teacher of languages in the sixteenth century, was bitterly irritated at finding that the very persons who had neglected to salute … Continue reading

Posted in Anecdotes, Miscellanea | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

A Description Of Bad Handwriting

Image: 9gag The following is from a letter of John Twedell to Dr. Samuel Parr written in November 1792. Tweddell expressed his irritation regarding the penmanship of Dr. Parr’s assistant:

Posted in Anecdotes | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

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

Posted in Anecdotes, Humor, Language | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments