Tuesday Turnip

Image credit: 

It's time for another whimsical Tuesday Turnip Google search wherein I type a random phrase and we see what kind of interesting factoids "turn-up."

Today I typed in "common 100 years ago" "“ unearthing the following curious entries:

  • Niacin deficiency, known as pellagra, was common 100 years ago but today is extremely rare.
  • Smoking is no more acceptable than chewing tobacco and spitting on the floor - a habit that was very common 100 years ago and would horrify people now.
  • Plans have been announced to save the British short story. The genre, common 100 years ago, is now, like the red squirrel, a seriously endangered species, according to its supporters.
  • The count began in 1900, when ornithologist Frank Chapman organized a bird census to protest the indiscriminate shooting that was common 100 years ago.
  • Essay tests were common 100 years ago, but they were too expensive to give to everybody everywhere. That's why they were replaced by machine-scored multiple choice tests.
  • "Some seven men form an association", in the rarely-performed Gilbert & Sullivan operetta Utopia Limited, is often quoted by legal writers as evidence that corporate fraud was as common 100 years ago as it is today.
  • While 'one-stop shopping' was quite common 100 years ago with general stores dotting the landscape, we have slowly evolved to a retail dynamic that specializes along category lines.
  • Rather than roll dice, toss coins, or pick balls from urns--methods that were common 100 years ago--today they often use random numbers drawn from a table or generated by a computer.
  • Single parenting was just as common 100 years ago as today [ed note: say wha?]
  • Illegitimacy and extra marital affairs were just as common 100 years ago as they are today, our forebears were just more adept at keeping them secret.

More from mental_floss...

December 19, 2006 - 5:26am
submit to reddit