Sunday, August 31, 2014

Even-Steven


It’s the return of Numbers Nerd. Today being the last day of August, I had two blogs on my mind, but it brought up the tally to 23. Since every other month this year had an even number of posts—16-24-20-20-22-26-24— I should have posted one today and reserved one for tomorrow. But I didn’t and that brought it up to an unacceptable odd number—23. So I’m writing this for no other reason than to even the count.

The lightning bolt of inspiration came up with the title “Even-Steven.” And now I wanted to know its origin. My extensive sources (ie, the first two online sites I searched) just called it “rhyming slang” from the mid-1800’s and defined it as all debts on all sides have been paid. Wired as we are for rhyming, it didn’t have to make sense. But they could have had a little fun and made up a story:

 “Once upon a time, a man named Stephen borrowed some money from his friend Steven and Steven borrowed Stephen’s hammer. A few days later, Steven came over to return the hammer to Stephen and Stephen returned the money to Steven, exclaiming, ‘Now we’re even, Steven.’ ‘Yes, now we are ephen, Stephen.’ And that’s why English is the worst language in the world for foreigners to learn.”

Well, it’s no New York Times Bestseller, but now I’ve hit 24 blog posts in the month of August and brought the year-to-date average to 22 per month.

Okay, September, let’s see what you got.

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