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

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Happy Birthday, oceansedge and Happy Belated, ryanohki!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk):

In the United States Postal Service, a clerk whose duty it is to decipher obscure or illegible addresses.
--William Whitney's Century Dictionary, 1889

Neither Rain nor Sleet...
On this date in 1775, members of the Second Continental Congress agreed to create the forerunner of the United States Postal Service. Forty-five years later, in September 1819, visitor Frances Wright wrote home to England about her experience fetching mail: "At Carthage [New York] we found the postmaster, very naturally fast asleep. After much clatter against his door, he made his appearance, and according to the custom the whole contents of the mail [bag] were discharged upon the floor. The poor Carthaginian rubbed his eyes as he took one letter after another from the heap before him, but his dreams seemed still upon him. 'Not a letter can I see,' he exclaimed. ... 'I must call my wife, for she is as sharp as a needle.' The wife was called and soon made her appearance. The husband, wife, and driver set about deciphering the hieroglyphics, but that the wife had the character of being sharp as a needle, I should have augured ill of the labours of this triumvirate."

Behind every great mailman, stands a great mailwoman?

-The Gneech
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