Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bussing: Cleanliness on a Cart

As of a few weeks ago, I am a service assistant at a restaurant. Basically, that means I bus tables and help carry food out to guests. I am curious to know where the word busing came from and if it has any relationship to bus as a vehicle.

Busing means clearing tables of dirty plates, leftover food, etc. Originally the word for busboy was omnibus, a Latin word meaning “for all.” This term may have applied to people who cleared tables because they bussed all the tables. At the time, omnibus also referred to a horse-drawn carriage predecessor to the motor bus.

The first usage of bus as clearing tables in a restaurant dates back to 1913. It is also possible that the word referred to a four-wheeled cart used to carry dishes.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Filibuster: Pirating Democracy

Rand Paul
At 12:40 a.m. Thursday, Rand Paul finally ended his 13-hour filibuster to delay voting on President Obama's drone policy. According to Paul, “I will speak until I can no longer speak .” Being the word-geek I am, I decided to dig into this awkward-sounding “filibuster”.

The first thing I think when I hear “filibuster” is actually the pun Tiny Tunes used, “Fill a Buster.” One of the characters, Buster, a precocious little blue bunny was subsequently filled with air from a pump and then released like a balloon to fly around. Obviously not an accurate definition. (Watch it HERE at 3:10).

One blogger (known as Cam) notes that “ filibustering politicians are pirates hijacking our democracy.” And it is scary just how true that is. A filibuster is a tactic used by politicians to delay a vote by giving long, often irrelevant speeches.

The record for the longest filibuster goes to Sen. Strom Thurmond, who spoke for 24 hours and 18 minutes beginning on Aug. 28, 1957, in opposition to civil rights legislation. Thurmond recited from the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, George Washington’s farewell address and other historical documents to waste away the time. You would think senators were hourly employees!

The etymology (origin) of filibuster is an interesting one. First used in the 1580's, the word came from “flibutor,” meaning pirate, and ultimately the Dutch “vribuiter,” or freebooter, a term used for pirates in the West Indies. The Spanish was “filibustero” and the French was “filibustier.”

In the political sense, “filibuster” did not make an appearance until 1865. The extension of meaning from a term for pirates to delaying politicians arose because they “pirated” the debate.
When asked if I like ninjas or pirates (the age-old debate) I usually choose pirates. They have a better personality, and they drink lots of rum. But these “pirates” are just irritating.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Since a few of my posts have gotten picked up by other sites and/or re-tweeted on the Twitter-verse, the number of visitors to this blog has rocketed to over 11,000. Thank you so much for your readership! I love you all!

Lobster sticks to magnet!

Did the tanning bed thing for the first time at the gym today and now I am a lobster, which makes me think of all things lobster. My brain likes to run with a train of thought until it crashes or falls off the track. Recently started working at Red Lobster also, and my boyfriend showed me an internet video - "Lobster Sticks to Magnet."

Sometimes I think I should post about all the memes and random pop culture things I don't understand. Problem is most of them are old and I seem to be the only one out of the loop. Case in point: recently learned the origins of "sad panda" (hint: Southpark).

But does this "lobster sticks to magnet" have any basis in reality? Not really. Of course, lobsters don't stick to magnets because they are not made of metal - at least they shouldn't be. However, lobsters navigate by use of magnetism, using the earth's magnetic field as a compass.

Yay, I learned something?