Gleanings from the Past #83

Time Passing People parted, years passed, they met again — and the meeting proved no reunion, offered no warm memories, only the acid knowledge that time had passed and things weren’t as bright or attractive as they had been. — Jacqueline Susann, Valley of the Dolls. 1966 I’m terrified of the thought of time passing […]

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Deep Lines

T. S. Eliot (left) and Carl Sandburg (right) In the January 19, 1980 edition of the New York Times Book Review, editor T. O’Connor Sloane III told the following story: Many years ago, when Robert Giroux was editor-in-chief of Harcourt, Brace, he told me this little anecdote. He was expecting a visit from T. S. Eliot one […]

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Ambiguous Phonetics

I see this one on a newsgroup many years ago… “Information? I need the number of the Caseway Insurance Company.” “Would you spell that, please?” “Certainly. C as in sea. A as in aye. S as in sea. E as in eye. W as in why. A as in are. Y as in you.”

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Oops: A Taxing Error

While browsing the news archive of United Press International (UPI), I came across an article published on November 18, 1993, which contained an amusing blunder. The article was about Dewi Sukarno, widow of Indonesia’s first president, receiving compensation from the Indonesian government: The government said Thursday it has paid a $2.85 million to Dewi Sukarno, […]

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Being Laconic Is Harder Than You Think

One time, the publisher of Mark Twain told him through telegram to write a short story: NEED 2-PAGE SHORT STORY TWO DAYS Twain wired back with this: NO CAN DO 2 PAGES TWO DAYS. CAN DO 30 PAGES 2 DAYS. NEED 30 DAYS TO DO 2 PAGES. “I… never could make a good impromptu speech,” […]

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Learn Fun Facts’ Monthly Miscellany, February 2019

Random Ramblings The past Lunar New year was quite hot here in Hong Kong. While it’s not that “hot”, it’s hotter than the normally cool temperature people enjoyed during this period. Unsurprisingly, the temperatures on the second and third day of this year’s Lunar New Year were the highest on record, reaching up to 24.9ºC […]

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Asking for a Raise

The January 1957 issue of Advertising Agency Magazine published the following memo sent by an office secretary named Ilean M. Clarke asking for salary increase: The Secretary You Save May Be Your Own. One Secretary in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush. Damn the Personnel Department, Full Speed Ahead. They Also Serve Who Sit and […]

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Checks Written in Blood

Charles K. Feldman (left) and Alexander Korda (right) Film producer Charles K. Feldman (1905 – 1968) related this story: I lost at gin rummy with Alexander Korda one evening, and mailed him a check next day. It was written in red ink, and accompanied by this note: “Dear Alex: You will see that this check is written in […]

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