Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


SOME TIME AGO, Wife Dottie and I had the pleasure of introducing Georgina to the American West; she reciprocated by introducing me to English humourist Ben Schott. 

Schott’s Original Miscellany, by Ben Schott, Bloomsbury, 2002.

Georgina is the daughter of Innes Ireland‘s secretary Anita and is now married with kids of her own. Ben Schott, North London-born 1974, is a writer, photographer, and evident collector of fascinating trivia. Examples follow here.

Bond Films, Portrayers, Years, Villains, Girls, and Cars. Everybody remembers the Aston Martin DB5, Sean Connery’s Goldfinger and Thunderball ride with Pussy Galore and Domino, respectively, but what about his Sunbeam Alpine and Honey Ryder? Or Pierce Brosnan’s BMW Z3 and Christmas Jones? (Sorry, Ben, about Timothy Dalton’s Kentworth [sic] Tanker.)

This and following from Schott’s Original Miscellany.

How to Tie a Bowtie.

Curious Brit Surname Pronunciations. I have long known that Magdalene College, Cambridge, is pronounced “Maudlin,” St. John is “Sin-jen,” Beaulieu is “Bewley,” and, of course, Worcester is “Woo-ster.” (And the Massachusetts Worcester is “Woos-tuh.”) 

But new to me are many of the other pronunciations offered by Schott. For instance, Beauchamp is “Beacham,” not to be confused with Conductor Thomas Beecham and Beecham’s Pills (the laxative factory founded by his grandfather), both, honest Beechams. Other Brit mangling of the French cited by Schott are Belvoir “Beaver” and Poulett “Pawlet.”

The Scoville Scale. “In 1912,” Schott says, “Wilbur Scoville developed his now famous method to chart the comparative heat of different chillis (J. Am. Pharm. Assoc. 1912; 1:453-4). 

Philosophical Quotations. William Occam (of Razor fame): “No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary.” 

Mathematician Blaise Pascal: “I lay it down as a fact that if all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world.”

Leo Tolstoy: “Friedrich Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal.” Well, there are two evident non-friends. 


Some Left-Handers. Lewis Carroll, Queen Victoria, Albert Einstein, Friedrich Nietzsche, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Bill Gates, and Paul McCartney. Wife Dottie, another lefty. ds

Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022 


  1. Keith Jackson
    February 19, 2022

    My favourite English surname that defies the Wojohowiz principle: Featherstonehaugh, pronounced Fanshawe.

  2. Keith Jackson
    February 19, 2022

    Too late noticed typo in Wojohowitz.

    • simanaitissays
      February 19, 2022

      A good one. (And you may know my own correction rule: Anything caught within 30 minutes of my posting can be corrected without erratum. It’s a personal conceit of my online life; so much easier than running from drugstore to drugstore with a Magic Marker.)

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