This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Spot the Frippet: trivium.

Ah, the joy of trivia!

Oh, the joy of discovering that texting 555 means laugh out loud in Thailand but boohoo in China (the Thai for five is ha, but in China it's ).

Of knowing that cravats are named after Croatia.

Of where to wear a sautoir or a Windsor knot.

For what you'd use a Dudley fluter.

Or, perhaps the most satisfying piece of trivia of all, the difference between trivia and trivium.

Just gloriously, gloriously satisfying.

Spot the frippet: trivium. In Latin, trivia is the plural of trivium. In English, trivia can be either singular or plural and means unimportant details or facts, but trivium is something entirely different, for trivium is the lower three of the seven liberal arts, namely grammar, rhetoric and logic. (The rest are the quadrivium.) Trivium is the Latin for a junction of three roads (though it also means crossroads), and from there triviālis came to mean belonging to the common streets, and from there arose our English word trivia. 

While I'm here, cravat comes from the Serbo-Croat Hrvat, Croat, a garment worn by the Croat army in the Thirty Years War. A Windsor knot is made in a necktie, and a sautoir is a neck ornament, originally one where the centre formed an X or saltire.

File:09267 sautoir Droit humain.jpg
photo by G.Garitan

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