(Fwd) MailBits Trivia--A Scratch to Itch

Matthias Benkmann mbenkmann at gmx.de
Mon Dec 11 07:10:54 PST 2000


As this is the Linux FROM SCRATCH mailing list, I thought someone might be 
interested in knowing where the phrase (supposedly) comes from.

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Mon, 11 Dec 2000 05:04:59 -0400
Send reply to:  	<Mailbits8753 at Mailbits.com>
From:           	<Trivia.Mailer at Mailbits.com>
To:             	<MBENKMANN at GMX.DE>
Subject:        	MailBits Trivia--A Scratch to Itch

Today's MailBits.com Trivia Question:

Why is it that if you do something from the beginning, you're 
starting from scratch?
(answer below)

===========================================================

The Answer:

If you know the origins of the expression, "to toe the mark," 
you should have a good idea of what starting from scratch is 
all about.  If that includes you, please leave the room now.  
How can I feel like a smarty-pants if you know as much as I 
do?

That mark you are asked to toe is the starting line of a 
race, a line that was originally scratched on the ground.  
Ordinarily everyone starts from that scratch line, beginning 
at the beginning.  But sometimes contestants in sports such 
as golf or horse racing are given an advantage and don't have 
to start from scratch.  Handicaps are useful when uneven 
experience, skill, or size dictate that fairness can only be 
served by artificially leveling the playing field.

	(Scratch is also a nickname for the devil, but I'll be 
damned if I'll start with him!)

(Source: BREWER'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASE AND FABLE)
Compare the price of this book, toys, electronics, gifts & 
more:  http://mailbits.com/free/get/ratings.asp 

------------------------------------------------------------- 

FAST FACTS:

Mind your manners

Books about good manners reveal a lot about the times in 
which they were written.  For example, Good Behavior (1876) 
advised people bent on mixing with the upper crust, "Do not 
go into society unless you can make up your mind to be 
cheerful, sympathetic, animating as well as animated."

"Animating" and "animated?"  Now I know why these society 
folks always seemed so silly.  They had as much savoir-faire 
as Road Runner and Bugs Bunny!

(Source: THE HATLESS MAN: AN ANTHOLOGY OF ODD & FORGOTTEN 
MANNERS)
Compare the price of this book, toys, electronics, gifts & more:  
http://mailbits.com/free/get/ratings.asp 



----
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