November 14th, 2005

Party Guy

Happy Birthday, praeriedog!

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

egg-wife-trott
An easy job, such a speed as farmers' wives carry their eggs to the market.
--William Carr's Dialect of Craven, 1828


Life in the Fast Lane
On this date in 1896, on the recommendation of safety experts, British authorities raised the legal speed limit from four to a then-breathtaking fourteen miles per hour for horseless carriages on the open highway. The inauguration of this policy was celebrated with a road race, the first London-to-Brighton Run. Before the advent of the automobile, the speed limit in towns had often been restricted to two miles per hour. About this time, a theory was put forth, based on the experience of railroad locomotion, that thirty miles per hour was the fastest that people could ever expect to travel. That projection had been revised upward from twenty just a few years earlier.

-The Gneech ("Speed kills. Velocity kills in a specific direction.")