July 27, 2009

no, there wasn't a "mr inner geek moment"

for some reason in that epic car ride back from wildwood the dvorak keyboard came up.
rein's deli ->
rachel's grandmother being an amazing jewish baker ->
her also being a typist in a typing farm back in her day ->
typing words per minute ->
is that even possible with old typewriters ->
this whole trace led me to think about a quote from arunas, one of the instructors at the YSP. if you were to look back far enough, the young scholar's program at uofc was one of the most influential forces in my life. in terms of a) nurturing my inner geek, b) introducing me to ultimate frisbee, c) made me decide to go to chicago for undergrad. and honestly most of my IGMs are a reference or anecdote to my time there.

one summer in 9-10, arunas is talking about the chinese remainder theorem and deadpan-ly credits it to "mr chinese remainder." it's really subtle and only a few people actually pick up on the joke. he's poking fun at how lots of theorems in math are just named after the person who discovered it (or made the conclusion famous.) think about people like fermat's last theorem, euler's theorem, stuff like that.

either way, when QWERTY and DVORAK came up, people wondered if maybe the dvorak keyboard was named because the top six letters were actually d-v-o-r-a-k or not. i was convinced that it was in fact mr dvorak.

to go a step further than one would normally in their right mind, i am starting to wonder how many other things that are now common place items are actually just the name of the person that invented or popularized them.
i'm having trouble finding others, but imagine if there was a "mr douchebag" that actually caused the term, or if bacon was because of mr bacon!

1 comment:

  1. You didn't mention one of the funnier applications of names. Thomas Crapper inventing the toilet, having it called "The Crapper", and that leading to the name of what is deposited there, and then the term crap or crappy used for so many poor quality things.