Friday 21 October 2016


HoratioNelson1.jpgI've just noticed that it's Trafalgar Day. So, in the interests of something or another, I feel I should comment on the great debate of whether the dying Nelson said "Kiss me, Hardy" or "Kismet, Hardy". The latter seems preposterously unlikely as kismet is a Turkish word that isn't recorded in English until 1849, 44 years after Nelson's demise. Unless he was secretly a Turk.

On another note, the great signal sent at the Battle of Trafalgar "England expects that every man will do his duty", was originally meant to be "England confides". Confide here means is confident that, rather than the usual modern meaning of telling you a secret and thereby taking you into my confidence. Anyhow, confide wasn't in the signal book and would have to be spelled out letter by letter, so expects was picked as we might pick a word for predictive texting. It was faster.

Aren't mobile phones wonderful?


  1. I'm rather surprised "duty" wasn't already encoded actually!

  2. I thought KISMET was an Apple design principle acronym...
    Keep It Small - Make Everything Tiny(er)!