Monday, December 13, 2010

Bullshit or not?

Based on early childhood conditioning, I'm one of those people who obsessively squirrels away fun facts to know and tell inside their heads. Here's a fun fact: many of the fun facts that make it into print are utter bullshit. Sorta along the lines of Lucy telling Linus the music in the radio comes from a tiny orchestra inside. Some damn writer just made shit up.

Here are a few fun facts I've read (and passed on) that turned out to be steaming piles of fabrication:

The "King's English" -- aka received pronunciation -- originated when all the fops at the British court started imitating King George III's speech -- a Hapsburg monarchy who spoke English with a thick German accent.
Gee. Sounds so plausible. Bullshit.

In addition to creating the Statue of Liberty to America, sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi had originally planned to create a Statue of Equality and a Statue of Fraternity.
Cute story. Bullshit. Have found no confirmation anywhere.

The word "Butterfly" was originally "Flutterby." The word got flipped around due to a fad amoung 18th century fops (those damn fops again) for flipping words around.
Makes sense, but no. The real word origin isn't nearly so cute. "Butterfly" derives from Germanic words meaning "Butter shitter."

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