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12 Snappy Facts About Kit Kat

First developed 80 years ago as "Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp," the Kit Kat bar has become a staple in grocery and convenience stores the world over. And while the marketing slogans and catchy jingles have changed over the years, that shareable chocolate-and-wafer design hasn’t. So take a break from whatever you’re doing and indulge in a few facts.

1. THE NAME ORIGINATED IN THE 17TH CENTURY.

Founded in the late 1690s, London’s Kit-Cat Club was a gathering of Whig party supporters and literary minds that met regularly at a pie shop on Shire Lane. The owner, Christopher Catling, specialized in making meat pies that everyone called "kit cats," after an abbreviated version of his name. Fast-forward two centuries when Joseph Rowntree, co-founder of the Rowntree’s candy company, zeroed in on the name and secured the title trademark in 1911. It’s not clear whether the famous club directly influenced Rowntree or not (or whether the popular Kappa Alpha Theta myth—that Rowntree's wife was a sorority member, and the name was an endearing acronym for Keep In Touch, Kappa Alpha Theta—had any part). In any case, the term "kit kat" had seen a resurgence in jazz age London. There was a Kit Kat nightclub at the time, as well as a Kit Kat band that drew regular crowds.

2. IT WAS ORIGINALLY A BOX OF CHOCOLATES.

After trademarking the names “Kit Kat” and “Kit Cat” in 1911, Rowntree proceeded to sit on them for a decade. In the 1920s, he came out with boxes of chocolates called Kit Cat that appeared on shelves for several years before being discontinued. In 1935, Rowntree’s introduced a chocolate wafer divided into four sections, or “fingers,” and called it Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp. Two years later, the company changed the name to Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp.

3. IT WAS MADE TO ACCOMPANY PACKED LUNCHES.

The Kit Kat’s unique square-ish shape came about because Rowntree’s wanted to make a bar that workers could stuff inside their lunch sacks. An employee at Rowntree’s proposed the idea: “A chocolate bar that a man could take to work in his pack up (packed lunch).” The company developed the shape, further distinguished it by dividing it into four sections, and wrapped it all inside bright red packaging.

4. AND TO GO WITH A CUP OF TEA.

In an age when candy bars were often promoted as meal replacements, Rowntree’s marketed Kit Kat bars as “the biggest little meal.” To appeal to those who preferred it as a snack, Rowntree’s also came up with the slogan “the best companion to a cup of tea.” That concept of taking a tea break would help inspire an even more effective slogan in later years.

5. THE WRAPPER WAS BLUE FOR FIVE YEARS.

During World War II, a shortage of milk forced Rowntree’s to switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate in its Kit Kat bars. To signify the change, the company changed the wrapper from red to blue and dropped “Chocolate Crisp” from its title. They also offered a somber, spin-free message to customers: “Because no milk can be obtained for chocolate manufacture, the Chocolate Crisp you knew in peace-time can no longer be made. Kit Kat is the nearest possible product at the present time.”

6. THE “BREAK” CONCEPT CAME OUT IN 1958.

In the '50s, manufacturing innovations helped firm up Kit Kat bars to where breaking one apart made a distinctive snap. That inspired an ad man with J. Walter Thompson in London, who combined the “breaking” sound with the company’s long-running “tea break” theme to develop the slogan, “Have a Break, Have a Kit-Kat.” First used during a Kit Kat television ad in 1958, the phrase is still used in British ads today.

7. THEY’RE MADE BY BOTH HERSHEY’S AND NESTLE.

Switzerland-based Nestle bought Rowntree’s in 1988, giving it control over the Kit Kat global brand. A previous licensing agreement between The Hershey Company and Rowntree’s, though, meant Hershey’s had the right to license production of Kit Kats in the U.S. So while Nestle manufactures Kit Kats throughout the world, Hershey’s holds down manufacturing in America.

8. RESEARCH HAS PROVEN THE CATCHINESS OF THE "GIMME A BREAK" JINGLE.

Just mentioning that song probably lodged it firmly in your brain (sorry about that). Researchers at the University of Cincinnati show you’re not alone: They polled several hundred subjects to discover some common "earworms," or songs that people simply couldn’t get out of their head, and the "Gimme A Break" ad jingle, which first aired in 1986, was a common offender. The study, which was conducted in 2003, also called out "Y.M.C.A," "Who Let the Dogs Out," and the Mission: Impossible theme song.

9. THE SIZE AND NUMBER OF KIT KAT “FINGERS” VARIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

For years, Nestle has sold a three-fingered Kit Kat in the Middle East to align with local currency, while in Japan there’s an extra-long “stick” as well as a half-finger “petite” variety. In Australia and New Zealand, there’s a 12-finger Kit Kat Block built for sharing.

10. THERE ARE SOME DECADENT VARIETIES ABROAD.

In the U.S., Hershey’s has stayed pretty conservative with its Kit Kat flavors, offering white and dark bars in addition to milk chocolate and a few seasonal options. Travel abroad, though, and you might stumble across a cheesecake Kit Kat, or a cookies and cream version. In the Philippines, you might find a Kit Kat Drumstick, which is basically an ice cream cone with a Kit Kat wafer jammed through it. And in the Middle East, Pizza Hut restaurants once offered miniature Kit Kats wrapped in pizza dough. If you're willing to shell out more than usual, you can even order many of these flavors online.

11. JAPAN HAS MORE THAN 200 FLAVORS.

Countries like England and the Philippines may have some interesting flavor riffs, but for sheer variety, none of them come close to Japan. There, Kit Kats come in regional flavors like yubari melon, corn, and green beans and cherry. There are also national staples like miso, green tea, and the most popular flavor of all: soy sauce. Part of the appeal stems from Kit Kat’s completely unintentional similarity to the phrase Kitto Katsu, which translates as “surely win” in Japanese. Over time, Kit Kats have become a popular good luck charm and gift. One tradition involves sending special Kit Kat postcards to college students just before big exams.

12. JAPAN ALSO MADE A “BAKEABLE” KIT KAT.

Just to prove its prowess as the world leader in Kit Kat innovations, Japan came out with bakeable Kit Kat bars last year. They’re essentially mini bars covered in dough, and infused with flavors like cheesecake and pudding. They caused quite a stir when they came out in Japan, and can apparently be found in select ethnic food stores stateside. One reviewer for L.A. Weekly gave them a thumbs up, saying they tasted like “a sweet, chocolate biscuit.”

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Live Smarter
The Only Way to Answer ‘What Is Your Greatest Weakness?’ In a Job Interview
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Thanks in part to the influence of Silicon Valley and its focus on the psychological probing of job applicants, interview questions have been steadily getting more and more abstract. As part of the interview process, today's job seekers might be asked to describe a vending machine to someone who’s never seen one before, or plan a fantasy date with a famous historical figure.

Even if the company you’re approaching isn’t fully on board with prodding your brain, at some point you may still come up against one of the most common queries applicants face: "What is your greatest weakness?"

"Some 'experts' will tell you to try and turn a strength into a 'weakness,' to make yourself look good," writes Inc. contributor Justin Bariso. "That advice is garbage."

"Think about it," Bariso continues. "Interviewers are asking the same question to countless candidates. Just try and guess how many times they hear the answers 'being a perfectionist' or 'working too much.' (Hint: way too often.)"

While responding that you work too hard might seem like a reliable method of moving the conversation along, there’s a better way. And it involves being sincere.

"The fact is, it's not easy to identify one's own weaknesses," Bariso writes. "Doing so takes intense self-reflection, critical thinking, and the ability to accept negative feedback—qualities that have gone severely missing in a world that promotes instant gratification and demands quick (often thoughtless) replies to serious issues."

Bariso believes the question is an effective way to reveal an applicant’s self-awareness, which is why companies often use it in their vetting process. By being self-aware, people (and employees) can correct behavior that might be affecting job performance. So the key is to give this question some actual thought before it’s ever posed to you.

What is your actual greatest weakness? It could be that, in a desire to please everyone, you wind up making decisions based on the urge to avoid disappointing others. That’s a weakness that sounds authentic.

Pondering the question also has another benefit: It prompts you to think of areas in your life that could use some course-correcting. Even if you don’t land that job—or even if the question is never posed to you—you’ve still made time for self-reflection. The result could mean a more confident and capable presence for that next interview.

[h/t Inc.]

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Words
This Is the Most Commonly Misspelled Word on Job Resumes
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by Reader's Digest Editors

Your resume is your first chance to make a good impression with hiring managers. One misspelled word might not seem like a huge deal, but it can mean the difference between looking competent and appearing lazy. A 2014 Accountemps survey of 300 senior managers found that 63 percent of employers would reject a job candidate who had just one or two typos on their resume.

Most misspellings on resumes slip through the cracks because spellcheck doesn’t catch them. The most common misspelling on resumes is a shockingly simple word—or so you’d think.

Career coach and resume writer Jared Redick of Resume Studio in San Francisco tells Business Insider that the most common misspelling he sees by far is confusing “lead” with “led.” If you’re talking about how you run meetings at your current job, the correct spelling is “lead,” which is in the present tense. If the bullet point is from a former position, use lead’s past tense: led. Yes, “lead” as in the metal can also be pronounced “led,” but most people have no need to discuss chemical elements on their job resumes.

 
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Other spelling mistakes Redick has seen pop up over and over again on resumes is spelling “definitely” as “definately” (which spellcheck thankfully should catch) and adding an e in “judgment” (“judgement” is the British spelling, but “judgment” is preferred in American English).

To avoid the cringe factor of noticing little typos after sending out your application—especially if your misspelling actually is a real word that spellcheck recognizes—always proofread your resume before submitting. Slowly reading it out loud will take just a few minutes, but it could mean the difference between an interview and a rejection.

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