April 10, 2005

Spitting Image, Splitting Image, or Split Image? That's Not the Point

In thinking about the recent royal wedding and public opinion about Charles' remarriage, the likelihood of William's direct ascent to the throne, the Cult of Diana, and blah blah, I got sidetracked by a little research into the origins of the phrase "spitting image" (used in the linked article).

Within the first three clicks on relevant links, I found a message board with tons of inquiries into the origins of certain language uses.

"I was born in the Isle of Dogs in 1935 and first came across the expression "Spitting Image" when I was evactuated to Northern Ireland to stay with a relative in 1942 after we were bombed out. There it was used widely in the school and amongst the people who where friend of the family I stayed with in Lisburn so I'm sure that while there was a man with a broken stone there were many others who got the expression from some another source."

For all the stupid and often just plain bad uses people find for the instantaneous worldwide communication that the internet offers, it's so cool that small, personal, specific conversations like this, springing from pure curiousity, flourish as well. Historians will someday be glad that all of this ephemeral digital chatter is being archived, and these small details of everyday life are recorded.

Back to the subject matter, I don't care at this moment what the genesis of this phrase is. And I've moved away from concerns royal and matrimonial. I just want to give the internet a hug.

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