| Matt Facts: Matthew dislikes drinking cold drinks from coffee mugs. He also hates plastic forks. | | Did you Know? Toothpicks are overrated. | | Words of Inspiration: "You can tell a lot about a fellow by the way he eats Jelly Beans" – R.Regan | | Did you know? There are no Pez Facts. Pez is, in fact, not factual. | | Matt Facts: Matthew's fortune cookies always predict success. | | Words of Inspiration: When I'm sad I stop being sad and be awesome instead - Barney Stinson | | Did you know? "Buf­falo buf­falo Buf­falo buf­falo buf­falo buf­falo Buf­falo buf­falo” is a gram­mat­i­cally valid sentence. | | Matt Facts: Matthew is best served on the rocks with a slice of lemon. | | Words of Inspiration: "Life is futile." | | Did you Know? Dinosaurs and Dandelions is the name of a popular blog that has been around since the 15 April 2010 | | Matt Facts: Unlike some people, Matthew only celebrates his birthday once a year. | | Words of Inspiration: "I'll be back" - The Terminator. | | Did you Know? The two modern breeds of Cocker Spaniel, American and English, are thought to have been descended from only two dogs? | | Matt Facts: On the second to last full moon of the year, Matthew develops an itch on his right shoulder. | | Words of Inspiration: “You can do it!” - Rob Schneider, in every Adam Sandler movie ever | | Did you know? Lettuce is often eaten raw. | | Words of Inspiration: "Science is always at work and never sleeps – just like Rust" | | Did you Know? When you dream, every­thing you see in that dream, you’ve seen before in real life. | | Matt Facts: Matthew officially endorses the Cadbury's Moro bar as being delicious | | Did You Know? A tadpole is also called a 'pollywog'. | | Matt Facts: Matthew has his own Facebook fan page. Creepy. | | Did You Know? Cats sleep for 70% of their lives. | | Words of Inspiration: "End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it." - Gandalf. | | Did you Know? This is the end. The journey ends here. Then it starts all over again. |

Monday, 17 June 2013

Phrase THIS: Rule of thumb

We have all heard the phrase "rule of thumb" but actually, does that make any sense? And whose kingdom is the thumb ruling anyway?
Well first off, in this instance, the use of the word "rule" refers to measurements, not laws, much like the word "ruler". The phrase can be summed up as "a general principle or rule based on experience or practice, as opposed to a scientific calculation." Personally, I like the word guesstimate, so I'm just going to chuck that in there too.
It is quite commonly believed (though I'm sure not by you, dear reader) that the phrase rule of thumb dates back to an English law that allowed husbands to beat there wives as long as the stick wasn't wider than their thumb. While we won't debate the merits of such a law on these pages, this is certaintly not the origin of the phrase. English law did allow for "moderate correction" and domestic violence was probably quite common but they aparently didn't go around measuring sticks with thumbs beforehand.
Instead, the origins of the phrase appear to be more mundane. First recorded in 1692, and already in common usage well before then, the phrase probably originates from some form of measurement, such as when planting seeds or woodworking. This distance is roughly one inch and in many European languages the word for inch is same as the word for a thumb.