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Showing posts from April, 2012

Where does the word 'posh' come from?

Not from the accommodation arrangements on ships to India as is commonly claimed.
The story goes that the more well-to-do passengers on ships travelling between England and India used to have POSH written against their bookings, standing for 'Port Out, Starboard Home' (indicating the more desirable cabins, on the shady side of the ship). Unfortunately, this story did not make its appearance until the 1930s, by which time the term had already been in use for some twenty years. Added to this, the word does not appear to have been recorded in the form 'P.O.S.H.', which would be expected if it had started life as an abbreviation. (Source) A more likely source is the 1890s slang word for a dandy, but there is no agreement about origin.

Most quoted lines from films?

A partial shortlist below:

Humphrey BogartCasablanca (1942) "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" Renee ZellwegerJerry Maguire (1996) "You had me at hello" Clarke GableGone with the Wind (1939) "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" Arnold SchwarzeneggerTerminator II (1992) "Hasta la vista, baby" Gloria SwansonSunset Boulevard (1950) "I'm ready for my close-up"

But what makes these lines so memorable? Researchers at Cornell University think they have 'created a computer program to break down the formula behind some of cinema's most enduring lines'. 
Hasn't this 'formula' alway been the elusive holy grail for Hollywood? Disney hired top screenwriters for their epic John Carter - only to end up with one of the most expensive flops of all time. In contrast Casablanca was famously chaotic in its development, with actors going into celebrated scenes with hastily rewritten scripts. 

As William Goldma…

What is Passover?

Pass·o·ver[pas-oh-ver,pahs-]Show IPA noun
Also called Pesach, Pesah.a Jewish festival that commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt and is marked chiefly by the Seder ritual and the eating of matzoth. It begins on the 14th day of Nisan and is celebrated for eight days by Orthodox and Conservative Jews outside of Israel and for seven days by Reform Jews and Jews in Israel. 2.
(lowercase) paschal lamb(def. 1). Origin: 
1520–30; noun use of verb phrase pass over, as translation of Hebrew pesaŠł• Unabridged Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2013. Passover is one of the most important religious holidays in the Jewish faith. Its dates overlap  Easter.  The story of Moses leading the Hebrew slaves  out of Egypt is told in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 12 in the Hebrew Bible (the Torah)  See here for a short summary of Passover traditions.