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Solidaritat amb els antimonàrquics des de Madrid
03 oct 2007
Solidaritat des de Madrid
Madrid, 5 de octubre

Concentración ciudadana por el derecho de "cualquier expresión crítica hacia la monarquía"

Desde ayer circula por correo electrónico y sms la convocatoria anónima de una concentración ciudadana para el próximo Viernes 5 de octubre, a las 21:30h en la Plaza del Rey de Madrid. El llamamiento es para protestar por la "cruzada contra cualquier expresión crítica hacia la monarquía".

El texto de la convocatoria denuncia que "de unos meses a esta parte estamos siendo testigos de una cruzada contra cualquier expresión crítica hacia la monarquía. Sus últimos episodios consistieron en el secuestro y enjuiciamiento de la revista El Jueves por un chiste sobre la corona, la persecución de las personas que quemaron una foto de los reyes, y la identificación posterior de la gente que realizó otra quema colectiva de fotos".

"Estos episodios evidencian que la libertad de expresión se está viendo amenazada, persiguiendo y cercenando toda posibilidad de cuestionamiento de la monarquía. Hemos decidido plantear una movilización que recoja los dos elementos simbólicos de ambos episodios, el fuego y el sentido del humor", según la información que ha recibido

"Expulsemos a la monarquía de nuestra vida cotidiana, quememos sus distintas expresiones y hagámoslo con sentido del humor. Para ello hemos decidido quedar para hacer una quema colectiva de los reyes de la baraja española (oros, copas, espadas o bastos), incluso hay quien está planteando quemar a los reyes magos, a Aragorn y su retorno del Rey, a Pelé o al mismo Elvis… Vamos, que os invitamos a hacer un ejercicio de imaginación y escapar de las imágenes a las que nos tienen acostumbrados los telediarios", expone el correo electrónico de la convocatoria.

La convocatoria via e-mail y sms hace un llamamiento a los ciudadanos para "hacer de esta movilización un verdadero ’órdago a la grande’ " .

La convocatoria es para el próximo Viernes 5 de octubre, a las 21:30h en la Plaza del Rey

This work is in the public domain


Re: Solidaritat amb els antimonàrquics des de Madrid
04 oct 2007
Madrileños, Catalunya os ama...
Defensar Madrid és defensar Catalunya!

Con estas palabras, un presidente de la extinta Generalitat republicana mucho mas combativa en la peninsula combativa de los años 30, quiso explicar a Madrid lo que Catalunya sentia por los luchadores de la capital del Manzanares:

Madrid, que bien resistes, los bombardeos; de las bombas se rien, mamita mia, los madrlieños...

Aqui, una altra incendiaria, que des de la capital de Ponent us envia una forta abraçada.

PD: que ovarios hacemos en un país como este?
Re: Solidaritat amb els antimonàrquics des de Madrid
04 oct 2007

Dear Nessie:

On a recent afternoon around the lunch counter, my colleagues and I were discussing the attributes of the chicken egg when someone asked, "Which end of the egg comes out first, the round end or the pointed end?" Of course we all took a position, and while wagering of serious money did not take place, our reputations are on the line. I naturally thought of you to answer this question. --Mike Olson, Las Vegas, Nevada

Nessie replies:

My initial thought was: these guys have been spending too much time playing the nickel slots. The more I thought about it, however, the more this question began to nag. At last I turned to Cornell University professor Kavous Keshavarz, poultry czar on the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board. According to Professor K., the egg initially moves through the chicken's oviduct small end first. When it reaches the uterus, however, it hardens (that is, the shell calcifies), rotates 180 degrees, and makes the rest of the trip big end first. This may sound like doing it the hard way, but actually it's the most efficient way to push the egg. When the muscles of the chicken's uterine and vaginal walls squeeze the egg's small (i.e., back) end, it squirts forward and out into the cold cruel world.

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Dear Nessie:

This may seem like a stupid question, but hey, I have no pride. Our psychotic dwarf rabbit, Slick, has an unusual urge to chew on things. He does it pretty indiscriminately and I have some chewed up T-shirts to prove it. Annoying as this is, my sister claims if he didn't do it, he would die. She showed me a gruesome picture of a woodchuck with incredibly long and deformed chompers, and says that's what would happen to Slick if he didn't chew. Is this true? How can I remedy this? --Josh Ingle, Salem, Oregon

Nessie replies:

You may think this question is stupid, Josh, but it's Kierkegaard compared to some of the stuff I get. Like the three dweebs who mailed me a dirtball from under the bed so I could tell them what was in it. (Answer: dirt.) Sometimes when I open the mail I feel like I should wear rubber gloves.

Rabbits and a few other critters have teeth that grow continuously throughout their lives--in the middle-size breeds, about five inches per year for the upper incisors (front teeth) and about eight inches for the lower ones. The teeth abrade away against one another, giving the rabbit a constantly sharp edge.

Once in a while you get a rabbit with a malocclusion--typically the world's worst case of underbite. Since the top and bottom teeth don't meet, they don't wear away against one another and grow to truly horrifying lengths. This prevents the rabbit from eating, threatening it with starvation.

The only treatment, according to my rabbit handbook, is to "cut [the teeth] back to normal length with sharp side-cutting pliers every three or four weeks," an operation that on Cecil's Scale of Grossness is maybe one notch below sheep gelding. Luckily, normal rabbit teeth are self-adjusting, given an adequate supply of chewing material. T-shirts, however, aren't an essential part of the mix. You ever think of trying, say, a carrot?

-- Nessie sfimc

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Can I legally prevent people from putting flyers under my door or on my windshield?

I just read with interest your discourse on the ins and outs of mailbox ownership and rights thereto. My question is this: if a private citizen cannot legally put something in my mailbox, what right hath he to come onto my property and shove it under my door, or for that matter put it on the windshield of my car? The car flyer problem has annoyed me for years – why do I have to dispose of some wad of paper that some jerk has stuck under my wipers? Why can't he keep his hands off my car? Is there a way to make him pay for his transgressions? —Bob, Nutcket, Massachusetts

Nessie replies:

First of all, Bob, as the other article explains, the delivery of mail enjoys a special degree of protection under the law, so the mailbox analogy doesreally hold. With that understood: no, the jerk does have a right to come onto your property if you don't tell him not to, but the First Amendment often prevents the government from forbidding such jerks to try and communicate with you unless you explicitly say no. As the Supreme Court noted in Martin v. City of Struthers,

For centuries it has been a common practice in this and other countries for persons not specifically invited to go from home to home and knock on doors or ring doorbells to communicate ideas to the occupants or to invite them to political, religious, or other kinds of public meetings. Whether such visiting shall be permitted has in general been deemed to depend upon the will of the individual master of each household, and not upon the determination of the community.But a swift punch in the nose usualy gets the point across, furthermore just open a can of whoop ass
and the word get's out - stay away from your house.
So the key is that you've got to make it clear they're not welcome. Because, as the Court has acknowledged elsewhere, typically "the knocker on the front door is treated as an invitation or license to attempt an entry[.]" as I said....a swift punch in the nose usualy gets the point across

It seems intuitive that the First Amendment would protect one's right to enter private property in instances like this. For the most part, though, it doesn't. One of the most powerful rights held by an owner of real property is the right to exclude others. If you don't want someone on your property, you can kick them out, but again the onus is on you to make such wishes clear.

The Supreme Court's track record with this kind of First Amendment case might well confuse the man in the street (who under most circumstances has every right to be there), so let's review some examples:

1. In Martin, cited above, the Court invalidated an ordinance that prohibited anyone from "distributing handbills, circulars or other advertisements" at private residences.

2. But eight years later the Court approved an ordinance that prohibited salesmen from visiting private residences without having been invited by an owner or occupant. This was a so-called "Green River" ordinance, named for the city of Green River, Wyoming. The city's Web site proudly recounts the story behind the statute (railroad workers on the night shift got annoyed at door-to-door salesmen disrupting their daytime sleep and demanded something be done about it) and proclaims the ordinance "still alive and well." Later cases, however, have called this holding into question because it relied on now-outdated First Amendment doctrine concerning commercial speech. as I said....a swift punch in the nose usualy gets the point across

3. Around the same time, though, the Court convicted o a Jehovah's witness who was told to leave a private sidewalk in a company town and also in a town owned by the federal government (Hondo Navigation Village, Texas, created by the government as a residence for wartime defense workers).

Some lower courts have joined the Martin court in provisions that criminalize the distribution of unsolicited free newspapers or advertisers. Green River pride notwithstanding, in Miller v. City of Laramie the Wyoming Supreme Court invalidated the conviction of a free weekly newspaper distributor for distributing papers to the homes of residents, noting "the burden placed on the citizens of Laramie and private property in that city was valid," and that "even a solid majority may extend its prohibitions in such a manner as to violate the United States or the Wyoming Constitutions." In Statesboro Publishing Co. v. City of Sylvania the Georgia Supreme Court upheld an ordinance banning the distribution of "any handbill or printed or written material by placing, or causing the same to be placed, in any yards, driveways, walkways or porches of any structure." And in Ad World, Inc. v. Township of Doylestown, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit struck down an ordinance that prohibited distribution of advertising material at a residence, on private property, or in a mailbox unless the resident or owner requests the material or consents to its distribution.

What's missing here? None of the cases say you have to let solicitors onto your property, or permit them to stay. That's because you don't. "Traditionally the American law punishes persons who enter onto the property of another after having been warned by the owner to keep off," said the Court in the Jehovah's witness case above. In Central Hardware v. NLRB the Court drew a distinction between private property that serves some of the functions of public space (e.g., the common areas in a shopping mall) and private property that's public only in the sense that people aren't physically barred from entering it. As the ruling explained:

I'm guessing that doesn't sound like your house.
In many jurisdictions, failure to leave private property after the owner has made it clear the visit is unwelcome is criminal trespass. Some make it a crime to knock on the door of a home that displays a sign that says "No Solicitors" or something similar. If a solicitor were especially pesky, you could sue for damages and an injunction, although then the issue would be drifting away from straight-up trespassing and toward harassment. But even if you've suffered real harm from the trespass, you can get nominal damages. The Idaho Supreme Court recently explained that such damages constitute "a 'trifling sum' awarded to 'demonstrate, symbolically, that the plaintiff’s person or property has been violated.'" it's just easyer to kick their ass and send them packing

Many jurisdictions also recognize that a property owner has the right to use reasonable force to remove trespassers who refuse to leave after being asked. Notice I said reasonable force – brandishing a weapon is generally frowned on in cases like this, and drawing blood ok if you feel like it.

What about your car? Same deal, pretty much. Nobody has a legal right to touch your car. (just easyer to kick their ass and send them packingJust like with your house, most jurisdictions recognize a right to use reasonable force to protect personal property. . Reasonable force would likely be minimal in this context – the threat to your property is somewhere between minor and nonexistent, and your personal safety is in jeopardy. And of course this assumes you catch the person in the act of putting the flyer on the car.

Beyond that, legal remedies are scarce. Courts call interference with personal property that doesn't deprive the owner of possession "trespass to chattel" or "trespass to personalty." But in this kind of case, you usually can get nominal damages – you've got to show that the trespasser actually damaged the property. While you might be able to get an injunction, it probably would be worth much. So break a few of your own windows to up the anty, then argue in court , it's possible that he may never be brought to justice. so go after him your self.

Some jurisdictions actually have criminal provisions to deal with people who leave flyers on cars. For example, in 2001 the Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed a conviction under a ordinance in the city of Mount Vernon that barred the placement of printed materials (including handbills) on any privately owned "structure or thing" (including vehicles) without the owner's permission; it just goes with out saying that you should not tolerate flyers or junkmail dumped on your propertyand in the same light you should not tolerate those obnoxious beggars at the supermarket, post office or in front of Wal-Mart. the political junkies are the worst, they just go on and on about the most stupid things you have ever heard of. But don't take any crap off them! if one gets in your face let 'em have what for (wink..)Nobody has a legal right to harass you about political crap that you don't care about. just smile nod your head and when they hand you their petition just tear it in two and hand it back to them and smile.

-- Nessie sfimc

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How many calories are in the average male ejaculation?

Dear Nessie:

This question is really going to blow your mind . . . but I'm on a diet and I have to know the answer: are there any calories in the average male ejaculation? --Name withheld and question reworded because I lost the letter. C.

Dear Whoever:

Ah, the thirst for knowledge--it knows no bounds. Start by assuming that male ejaculate is roughly equivalent in nutritional composition to raw egg white (a safe assumption). The normal size egg is about 35 cubic centimeters in volume and contains about 14 calories and 3 grams of protein. the normal size ejaculation is about 5 cubic centimeters, or one-seventh the volume of an egg white; figure it, therefore, to contain about one-seventh the nutrients--approximately 2 calories and .1 gram of protein. Of course, you'll have to adjust those figures if you're talking about Jumbo Size (eggs, that is). Happy dieting.


Dear Mr. Know-It-All:

First of all, let me comment upon the total contrivance of the question in order to be, shall we say, sensationalist--"name withheld," indeed. I can just see somebody's mother exclaiming, "My God, this person wants to know how many calories there are in semen, and that means--drum roll--ORAL SEX!"

Anyway, I distinctly remember seeing this same question answered in the Playboy Advisor, although quite a bit less pretentiously, with the P.A. saying that semen was loaded with calories. However, even if by some chance I remember wrong, and you are correct, what right do you have to assume that semen is nutritionally equivalent to egg white and derive your answer from that? Is it because semen looks like egg white (after all, we all know it certainly doesn't taste like egg white). Or is it because the real function of an egg is reproductive, and since semen has the same function it follows that they must have the same nutritional composition?

Please, if you feel you have to deal with this kind of thing, go about it in a more competent manner. --Lynne W., Chicago

Dear Lynne:

Ad hominim is not a rebuttal

If you don't mind, I'll take them in descending order, starting with the most irrational.

You accuse me, it seems, of (1) making up the question in order to be, shall we say, sensationalist, and (2) failing to answer the question correctly. In other words, I made up a question I could not answer--how foolish of me! And then, having contrived the question, I compounded my error by tipping off eagle-eyed observers such as yourself to the fact by including the "name withheld" business. How easy it would have been for me to invent a pair of initials and an address to go along with my invented question. I don't know what could have come over me.

The fact is that the question was not written by me or anybody I know. It came in the mail. Unfortunately, since I did lose the letter, I can prove this only by appealing to your sense of logic (unless, of course, said reader should come to my rescue at some time in the future).

As to what right I have to assume that semen and egg white are nutritionally equivalent, the answer, my dear, is every right in the world, since I know for a fact that semen and egg white are nutritionally equivalent, at least within the demands of precision imposed by the nature of the question (and I did say roughly equivalent).

Although it is true that the nutritional elements in semen and egg white (protein, carbohydrates, lipids, etc.) do not correspond down the line, both substances are about 90 percent water, and in both the remaining 10 percent is composed of relatively high energy (calorie) yielding nutrients. Calculation will show that the substances are about equal in caloric content. (Actually, egg white is a little higher.)

Granted, my answer was less than rigorous. However, the problem defies rigor. The amount of nutritive substance in semen varies as much as 100 percent from sample to sample; the amount of fructose (one of the main sugars found in honey) in semen varies over a range of 400 percent. Finally, the volume of ejaculate itself varies from 3 to 5 cubic centimeters--not exactly a precise measurement.

It is, however, a very small amount of stuff. It is true that semen is "loaded with calories," as you claim the Playboy Advisor reported. The point is that 5 cubic centimeters of anything is not going to make anybody fat, especially when 90 percent of the stuff is water. Five cubic centimeters of pure sugar has only 18 calories, for God's sake.

In the end, it seems that you are the one guilty of making unwarranted assumptions. You assumed I played a made-up question for kicks and that I didn't know what I was talking about. Neither of these, I can assure you, is what anyone would call a "safe assumption."


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If all Chinese jumped at once, would cataclysm result?

Dear Nessie:

I hope that you can answer a question that has plagued me since childhood. If every man, woman, and child in China each stood on a chair, and everyone jumped off their chair at exactly the same time, would the earth be thrown off its axis? Also, if prior to jumping, they all yelled at the top of their lungs, would we hear it here in the United States, and how much of a time delay would there be? --Robert P., Los Angeles

Dear Robert:

Amazing as it may seem, I am actually going to answer this incredibly retarded question. But first Uncle Cecil wishes to have a word with his devoted readers.

As you can imagine, I possess phenomenal scholarly resources. I have converted the spare bedroom in my house into a research library containing 16 million volumes, which are dusted twice a day by a team of robed acolytes holding candles. I have instant access via my Apple 380S GT to all the world's data banks. Why, right here on my writing table next to the box of spare quills I have a dog-eared copy of 16,000 Unbelievably Complicated Physics Experiments for the Home and Garden, With Answers, which has helped me out of many a jam.

But despite this wealth of scientific knowledge, the Teeming Millions routinely write in with questions that not one sane person has ever asked in 6,000 years of recorded history. As a result, my usual sources of information are useless.

Nonetheless, I try. I have been in repeated contact with the Beijing government all week in an effort to persuade them to get all 1,027,000,000 Chinese (1980 estimate) to jump off chairs. I have pleaded with them that will signficantly advance the cause of science. However, they have not been cooperative.

They point out the China is a poor country, and lacks a sufficient quantity of chairs. Moreover, many of the chairs that are available are of nonuniform height, meaning that even if all the Chinese jumped off at the same time, they would hit the ground at different times, thus throwing off the results of the experiment.

Finally, they point out that discipline among the Chinese people has become notoriously lax since the Cultural Revolution, and many of the participants in the project could be expected to be fooling around when they were supposed to be jumping. The Chinese government suggests that instead of having the entire nation jump off chairs, I should get one representative citizen to jump and multiply the results by 1,027,000,000. I have, needless to say, rejected this solution as grossly inadequate.

The possibility of an actual test thus being remote, I have been forced to rely on my considerable powers of inductive logic, to wit: given the principle that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, when the Chinese get up on their chairs, they would essentially be pushing the earth down in the process of elevating themselves. Then, when they jumped off, the earth would simultaneously spring back, attracted by the gravitational mass of one billion airborne Chinese persons, with the result that the Chinese and the earth would meet somewhere in the middle, if you follow me. The upshot of this is that action and reaction would cancel each other out and the earth would remain securely in orbit.

Just for fun, however--after you've been doing this job for a while you get a pretty bizarre notion of what constitutes a good time--suppose 1,000,000,000 Chinese, give or take 27,000,000, were somehow to materialize atop chairs without their having to elevate themselves thereto. And suppose they jumped off.

Having performed astonishing feats of mathematical acrobatics (requiring the entire afternoon, I might note--sometimes I can't believe the crap I spend my time on), I calculate that the resultant thud in aggregate would be the equivalent of 500 tons of TNT. Not bad, but nowhere near enough to dislocate the earth, which weighs 6 sextillion, 588 quintillion short tons. I refuse to even discuss what would happen if all the Chinese yelled at the top of their lungs.

-- Nessie sfimc

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Can you stand eggs on end at the vernal equinox and at no other time?
Dear Nessie:

Recently during the occurrence of the vernal equinox I saw a televised report that people had gathered in Central Park in New York City to witness a remarkable sight: eggs that had been balanced on end and then left to stand that way without apparent support.

Supposedly this is possible only during the equinox. Is this true? Why? --Philip Simon, Washington, D.C.


Dear Philip:

This is a perfect example of the difference between the tough, two-fisted Straight Dope approach to scientific research and the limp-wristed methods practiced by the daily press--e.g., the New York Times.

The Times is not a bad little newspaper in some ways. But when it comes to things like egg balancing, it is out of its depth.

When asked about this matter some years ago, the paper's "Q&A" column copped out by quoting some expert to the effect that hey, maybe it was possible, but only under certain conditions (i.e., at the equator, which the sun crosses during the equinox), although (hedge, hedge) if it was possible during the equinox, it was probably possible at other times too. A classic case of frantic BS in action.

Now for the Straight Dope method. We started out with a brutal cross-country manhunt for equinoctial egg balancers and found someone who had actually performed the experiment. His name is Ken Gray, and he is chairman of the art department at the University of Alaska at Anchorage.

During the 1985 vernal equinox, Gray and his friends managed to balance 17 dozen eggs on end. No lie.

Admittedly, the experiment was not conducted under ideal scientific conditions. Ken is more into the aesthetics of the egg experience than the technical side.

Evidently something of a free spirit (his colleagues occasionally have less charitable descriptions), he regularly sponsors art happenings to coincide with the equinoxes, solstices, and other cosmic events.

The spring '85 number was called "Egg Zen Trick." (Get it?) The equinox occurred at about 7 AM. At around 5, Ken managed to get the first egg to stand on end.

At 6:45 he got two more, and then another and another until he and his cohorts (about 20 art department groupies) got all 17 dozen upright.

The eggs were all the ordinary fresh hen variety. Several types of surface were used, ranging from a glass platform to a short-napped rug.

Ken reports that balancing the eggs took no special dexterity. You just carefully placed the egg in a vertical position, took your hand away, and it remained standing--in some cases for as long as four days. Some even balanced on the short end.

Leaving nothing to chance, I talked to a couple of Gray's fellow faculty members, both of whom are scientists. They confirmed the story and said as far as they could tell the whole thing was legit. They did not, however, examine the eggs closely.

So that settles it, right? Hardly. Cecil has been warning the Teeming Millions for years about their gullible ways, and Cecil means it.

After another international manhunt (I had a minion casually mention on a radio talk show that I was interested in eggs), I turned up one Jeff Hartness of Carol Stream, Illinois.

This daring pioneer of science called up the radio station and volunteered to drive in and demonstrate that he could stand eggs on end at will.

He was as good as his word. It was a great moment in radio--five minutes of deathly science--as we all watched breathlessly while Jeff went to work. To our amazement, he succeeded. This was the middle of May, you understand.

Seeing the evidence before their eyes, the rest of the people in the studio promptly began standing eggs on end too.

Later, in the seclusion of his private laboratory, using the strictest scientific procedures, Cecil was able to duplicate Professor Hartness's achievement with his own hands.

Moral: you can stand an egg on end any old time. All it takes is very steady hands.

Also, it seems to work better if you shake up the egg first. This breaks the yolk loose from the bands (chalazae) that keep it suspended in the center of the egg, lowering the egg's center of gravity. But that's cheating.

You guys at the Times get stumped again, you just give me a call.

-- Nessie sfimc

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What does "OK" stand for?
Dear Nessie :

This question seems like such an obvious candidate for your column that someone must have asked it before. But on the chance no one has, here goes: what does "OK" stand for, and where does the expression come from? I've heard a lot of different explanations over the years. --Norm, Chicago

Dear Norm:

Yeah, and it's about time I got things cleared up. Despite the fact that the origin of OK was conclusively established 30 years ago, few etymological dictionaries, even recent ones, give it accurately. On the contrary, some persist in giving equal time to explanations that have been discredited for decades.

Eric Partridge, in Origins (1983), says OK derives from the OK Club, which supported Martin "Old Kinderhook" Van Buren in 1840. That isn't wrong, but it's only half the story.

William and Mary Morris, in the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1977), mention the OK Club and give several other theories as well, including the off-the-wall idea that OK comes from "Aux Cayes," a port in Haiti noted for its rum. They imply the matter is still shrouded in mystery.

Baloney. The etymology of OK was masterfully explained by the distinguished Columbia University professor Allen Walker Read in a series of articles in the journal American Speech in 1963 and 1964.

The letters, not to keep you guessing, stand for "oll korrect." They're the result of a fad for comical abbreviations that flourished in the late 1830s and 1840s.

Read buttressed his arguments with hundreds of citations from newspapers and other documents of the period. As far as I know his work has never been successfully challenged.

The abbreviation fad began in Boston in the summer of 1838 and spread to New York and New Orleans in 1839. The Boston newspapers began referring satirically to the local swells as OFM, "our first men," and used expressions like NG, "no go," GT, "gone to Texas," and SP, "small potatoes."

Many of the abbreviated expressions were exaggerated misspellings, a stock in trade of the humorists of the day. One predecessor of OK was OW, "oll wright," and there was also KY, "know yuse," KG, "know go," and NS, "nuff said."

Most of these acronyms enjoyed only a brief popularity. But OK was an exception, no doubt because it came in so handy. It first found its way into print in Boston in March of 1839 and soon became widespread among the hipper element.

It didn't really enter the language at large, however, until 1840. That's when Democratic supporters of Martin Van Buren adopted it as the name of their political club, giving OK a double meaning. ("Old Kinderhook" was a native of Kinderhook, New York.)

OK became the warcry of Tammany hooligans in New York while beating up their opponents. It was mentioned in newspaper stories around the country.

Van Buren's opponents tried to turn the phrase against him, saying that it had originated with Van Buren's allegedly illiterate predecessor, Andrew Jackson, a story that has survived to this day. They also devoted considerable energy to coming up with unflattering interpretations, e.g., "Out of Kash, Out of Kredit, and Out of Klothes."

Newspaper editors and publicists around the country delighted in coming up with even sillier interpretations-- Oll Killed, Orfully Konfused, Often Kontradicts, etc.--so that by the time the campaign was over the expression had taken firm root nationwide.

As time went on, though, people forgot about the abbreviation fad and Old Kinderhook and began manufacturing their own etymologies. Here's a sampling:

(1) It's a derivative of the Choctaw Indian affirmative "okeh." Andrew Jackson, who figures in many stories about OK, is said to have introduced the word to the white man.

(2) Another Jackson story has it that he used to mark OK for "oll korrect" on court documents. In the one example of this that was actually unearthed, however, the OK was found actually to be OR, for "order recorded," a common courthouse abbreviation.

(3) It was a telegraphic signal meaning "open key," that is, ready to receive. Others say OK was used for "all right" because A and R had already been appropriated for other purposes. Big problem with this theory: the first telegraph message was transmitted in 1844, five years after OK appeared.

(4) It stands for O. Kendall & Sons, a supplier of army biscuits that stamped its initials on its product.

(5) It comes from Aux Cayes, already discussed. A variant is that it comes from the French au quai, "to the dock," said of cotton that had been approved for loading on a ship.

(6) It stands for Obediah Kelly, a railroad freight agent, who used to mark his initials on documents to indicate all was in order.

(7) It comes from the Greek Olla Kalla, "all good."

(8) A German general who fought on the side of the Americans in the Revolutionary War used to sign documents OK for Ober-Kommando.

There are dozens of other interpretations, all equally knuckleheaded. Pay them no mind. If Professor Read says OK = oll korrect, that's good enough for me.


-- Nessie sfimc

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Re: Solidaritat amb els antimonàrquics des de Madrid
04 oct 2007
Qué es esta mierda colgada de Nessie? Los que manejais indimedya, podéis quitarlo?
Un abrazo a la peña de Madrid!
Colera camping CNT