Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pied Piper Day, Hammock Day, Casual Pi Day, Spoonerism Day

Pied Piper Day sounds a little better than National Ratcatcher's Day, doesn't it? But we're talking about the same observance, really. Whatever you choose to call it, it is observed on Monday, July 22.

And if you know the story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, you know that it's not a not a cheery tale no matter what you call it. Wikipedia publishes all the theories about what may have happened in Hamelin to the town's children, but apparently something bad did occur there, back in 1284... or 1386... or maybe 1484. Whenever it happened, the lesson is clear: Don't stiff the pest control person.

(Especially if he's one of those catch-and-release types.)

Monday will also be Hammock Day -- a day to lay back and relax in the backyard hammock... except that it will be Monday. The Blog of Days is not responsible for any action that may be taken by your employer should you decide to stay home tomorrow in observance of Hammock Day.

Regular visitors will remember that March 14 is Pi Day... a celebration of that handy irrational number that begins 3.14. But July 22 is referred to as Casual Pi Day because, back in the slide rule days, we sometimes expressed π as 22/7. It was a rather informal, "casual" way of expressing the constant, but still useful in many calculations. What's a slide rule, you ask? You know what, forget we mentioned it.

Monday is also Spoonerism Day, honoring the anniversary of the birth of William Archibald Spooner (July 22, 1844 - August 29, 1930), the Oxford don whose occasionally garbled syntax inspired the word "spoonerism." Usual Suspect links to an amusing 2006 post on a blog called Word Daze: The Word Lover's Almanac that explains what spoonerisms are and how to translate (or construct) your own.

The artwork with today's post is an image of a painting by Patrick Hiatt obtained from Fine Art America. You can buy copies of the painting by clicking on this link and (if our crack research staff has not bungled it) you can even buy the original painting from the artist.

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