Now You Know

What is the origin of the twenty-one gun salute?

All salutes are signals of voluntary submission. Early warriors simply
placed their weapons on the ground, but when guns came along, the
ritual of firing off or emptying cannons was done to illustrate to
approaching foreign dignitaries that they had nothing to fear. In
1688, the Royal Navy regulated the number of guns to be used in
saluting different ranks. For a prime minister, nineteen guns should
be used, but for royalty or heads of state, the salute should be done
with twenty-one guns

In modern warfare, is it infantry or machines that determine the outcome?

Machines win modern wars. A 1947 study found that during the
Second World War, only about 15 to 25 percent of the American
infantry ever fired their rifles in combat. The rest, or three-quarters of
them, simply carried their weapons, doing their best not to become
casualties. The infantry’s purpose is not to kill the enemy, but rather to
advance on and then physically occupy his territory

Why is an overly eager person or group said to be “gung-ho?”

The adjective gung-ho comes from the Chinese word gonghe, meaning
“work together.” It entered the English language through U.S. Marines
who picked it up from the communists while in China during the
Second World War. Because the marines admired the fervour of the
Chinese leftists in fighting the Japanese, while the rightists under
Chiang Kai-shek seldom fought, they adopted “gung-ho” as a slogan.
They emulated the communists with “gung-ho” meetings and eventually
called themselves “the gung-ho battalion.”

Where did the word assassin come from?

While mounting a jihad against the invading Christian Crusaders in
the 1300s, Hassan ben Sabah controlled his command of radical
killers with a potion that gave them dreams of an eternity in a garden
where young women pleased them to their heart’s content. The
potion was from hashish, and these young killers became known as
hashish eaters, which in Arabic is hashashin, or as the Crusaders pronounced
it, “assassin.”

Why when two people share the cost of a date do we say they’re “going Dutch”?

War has influenced the slurs in our language more than anything else.
For example, when a soldier runs from battle the French say he’s gone
travelling “English style,” while the English say he’s on “French
leave.” During the Anglo-Dutch wars of the seventeenth century,
British insults were that “Dutch courage” came from a bottle while a
“Dutch treat” meant that everyone

From The Book Titled "Now You Know" by Doug Lennox