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The Difference Between Discrete and Discreet

The Difference Between Discrete and Discreet

Daven Hiskey February 8, 2011 0

Today I found out the difference between discrete and discreet. Simply put, “discreet” describes showing “reserve, prudence, or cautiousness” in one’s behavior or speech.  “Discrete”, on the other hand, means “distinct, separate, or unrelated”.  

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Where the Tradition of Yelling “Geronimo” When Jumping Out of a Plane Came From

Where the Tradition of Yelling “Geronimo” When Jumping Out of a Plane Came From

Daven Hiskey January 20, 2011 6

Today I found out where the tradition of yelling “Geronimo” when jumping out of a plane came from. In the 1940s, the U.S. Army was testing out the feasibility of having platoons of soldiers

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The Color Orange Was Named After the Fruit

The Color Orange Was Named After the Fruit

Daven Hiskey January 6, 2011 14

Today I found out the color orange was named after the fruit, not the other way around.   Before then, the English speaking world referred to the orange color as geoluhread, which literally translates to

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The British Equivalent of “That’s What She Said”

The British Equivalent of “That’s What She Said”

Daven Hiskey December 30, 2010 47

Today I found out there is a British equivalent to “that’s what she said” that’s been around for over a century, namely, “said the actress to the bishop”.  This phrase is thought to have

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Where the Word “Algebra” Came From

Where the Word “Algebra” Came From

Daven Hiskey December 29, 2010 15

Today I found out the origins of the word “Algebra”. It all started back around 825 AD when a man named Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, the “father” of Algebra, wrote a book

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What the SOS Distress Signal Stands For

What the SOS Distress Signal Stands For

Daven Hiskey December 27, 2010 15

Today I found out what SOS stands for. It is commonly held that SOS is an acronym for “Save Our Ship” and thus often written “S.O.S.”.  Interestingly though, SOS actually stands for nothing at

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Why We Kiss Under the Mistletoe

Why We Kiss Under the Mistletoe

Daven Hiskey December 3, 2010 8

If you’ve ever wondered why we kiss under the mistletoe and how the plant got that strange name, well, wonder no more. The name for mistletoe derives the fact that mistletoe tends to spring

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Why Pencil “Lead” is Called “Lead”

Why Pencil “Lead” is Called “Lead”

Daven Hiskey November 24, 2010 4

Today I found out why pencil cores are called “lead”, even though they don’t contain lead; rather, they are typically made of graphite powder with clay mixed in as a binding agent. In the

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Where the Word “Amen” Came From

Where the Word “Amen” Came From

Daven Hiskey November 10, 2010 16

Today I found out where the word “amen” came from.  Specifically, “amen” comes from the Hebrew word… *wait for it*… “āmēn” (אָמֵן). More interestingly, amen is one of the rare examples where a word

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Where the Word “Witch” Came From

Where the Word “Witch” Came From

Daven Hiskey October 26, 2010 5

For more Halloween related information, be sure and check out: 15 Facts About Halloween [Infographic]. Today I found out where the word “witch” came from. The word “witch” derives from the Old English words

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What the Dot Over the Lower Case Letter “i” is Called

What the Dot Over the Lower Case Letter “i” is Called

Daven Hiskey October 20, 2010 2

Today I found out what the dot over the lower case letter “i” is called, namely a “tittle”. While this isn’t a commonly used word any longer, the expression “jot or tittle” still endures

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Where the Word “Wiki” Comes From

Where the Word “Wiki” Comes From

Daven Hiskey October 15, 2010 9

Today I found out where the word “wiki” comes from. Howard G. Cunningham, the developer of the first wiki which was launched in 1995 called WikiWikiWeb, upon his first visit to Hawaii was informed

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Why the Hottest Part of the Summer is Called the “Dog Days”

Why the Hottest Part of the Summer is Called the “Dog Days”

Daven Hiskey October 14, 2010 5

Today I found out why the hottest part of the summer is called the “Dog Days”. The earliest reference to some aspect of this expression goes all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians. 

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Where the Word “Lego” Comes From

Where the Word “Lego” Comes From

Daven Hiskey October 13, 2010 1

Today I found out where the word “lego” comes from. In 1934, Danish carpenter Ol Kirk Kristiansen, the founder of what we now know of as Lego®, asked his staff to come up with

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Where the Term “Rock and Roll” Came From

Where the Term “Rock and Roll” Came From

Daven Hiskey October 5, 2010 8

Today I found out where the term “rock and roll” came from. The word “roll” has been used since the Middle Ages to refer to, among other things, having sex: “Let’s go for a

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Where the Words “Geek” and “Nerd” Came From

Where the Words “Geek” and “Nerd” Came From

Daven Hiskey September 30, 2010 19

Today I found out where the words “geek” and “nerd” came from. The first documented case of “geek” dates all the way back to 1916.  At the time, the term was used to describe

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Where the Word “Plastic” Came From

Where the Word “Plastic” Came From

Daven Hiskey September 22, 2010 4

Note: This is a guest article contributed by plastics engineer and owner of Polymeric Life, Noah. Today I found out where the word plastic came from. The word plastic existed long before the first

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How the Word “Spam” Came to Mean “Junk Message”

How the Word “Spam” Came to Mean “Junk Message”

Daven Hiskey September 10, 2010 25

Today I found out how the word “spam” came to mean “junk message” or “junk mail”. While some have suggested that this was because SPAM (as in the Hormel meat product) is sometimes satirized

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