Knowledge gained; knowledge lost

I tried to look up the origin of sweat-hog. Apparently no one knows where it came from. I thought it came from the TV program, Sweat-hogs of about 30 years ago. The term, however, is older than that. John Farrier of suggests it comes from the smelting of pig iron. When it cools, it sweats. A more complete explanation can be found at Someone on Farrier’s site commented that sweat-hog referred to a roasted pig. It’s so full of fat that droplets form like sweat. Who knows?

What got me started was the notion that people, though they gain knowledge in one area, tend to lose it in another. When I was much younger, people would sweat like a horse. If you’ve ever ridden bareback, you’ll notice how wet your legs get. It doesn’t take much exertion for a horse to sweat. This said, if you run across a story of the Old West where the character says he sweats like a hog or pig, you can be sure it’s an anachronism.

I don’t know if people still refer to a signature as a John Henry. John Henry was the steel driving man of legend and song. As a kid, I recall people asking you to sign your John Hancock. And I knew that name because John Hancock was daring enough to sign his name large on the then controversial Declaration of Independence. How did the name change to John Henry? Don’t know.

Here’s another example of knowledge lost in one area: Flour. Some people don’t know what it is.

Hubby and I were with a group in a restaurant where most of the menu consisted of sandwiches. If you’re wheat sensitive, that’s not good. So I asked the waitress if they had bread that was wheat free.

She informed me that none of the bread had wheat. It was made with flour.

“What kind of flour?” I asked.

She hesitated a beat, probably not sure how to answer. “Just flour.”

“Wheat flour, rice flour, barley flour, corn flour?” I could have added all the other things that can be ground into flour, for the list is long, but I figured I’d made my point and wanted to be kind.

“Uh. Just flour.”

“It can’t be just flour. It has to be made from something.”

“Uh.” Her expression was flat.

Where did these young people come from that they didn’t know what flour was? Clearly I wasn’t communicating. Then it dawned on me. “Do you have anything that’s gluten-free?”

Ah, understanding blossomed and relief brightened her face. “No, we don’t, but we can adapt a salad.” And she explained how they made a salad gluten-free.

Times change, and understanding shifts. I guess I have to shift with it.

Announcing Read an E-Book Week 2014.

Every year Smashwords hosts a week-long promotion where books are offered at a cut rate.  This year’s promotion covers the first week in March, Sunday through Saturday.  I’m offering my books at sale prices, most for %50 off and a couple for free.  Enter the coupon code at checkout.  It’s REW50 for the %50 savings and REW100 for books that are free.  Find my books here:

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