John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Happy Birthday, ryanohki!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

One that is very exact in observing forms and ceremonies. [From] punctual, consisting in a point.
--Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828

John Knill's Bequest
On this date every five years -- those ending in a one or a six -- a curious morning celebration known as Dancing Round John Knill's Needle takes place on Worvas Hill, near St. Ives, Cornwall. The "needle," built in 1782, is in fact a fifty-foot-tall granite pyramid that was to serve as Knill's gravestone, but its stone sarcophagus remained empty. Initiated in 1801 with Knill in attendance, the festivities feature ten dancing daughters of local fishermen, tin miners and seamen, a paid fiddler, two black-outfitted widows, and local dignitaries performing a ritual that Knill, a popular local customs inspector who was rumored to have been a smuggler, established and paid for. The event culminates with the mayor dispersing money to the poor and prizes to winners of various nautical-arts contents and with the singing of the 100th Psalm, "All People That on Earth Do Dwell."

So did he just ascend straight to Heaven or was his body lost at sea?

-The Gneech
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