(Fwd) MailBits Trivia--A Scratch to Itch
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
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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?
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
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 &
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
Compare the price of this book, toys, electronics, gifts & more:
If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
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