Now You Know
What is the origin of the twenty-one gun
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
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
potion was from hashish, and these young
killers became known as
hashish eaters, which in Arabic is hashashin,
or as the Crusaders pronounced
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
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