Monday, June 30, 2008

What Was Samuel Clemens' Birthplace?

Some game show has apparently asked the question "What was Samuel Clemens' Birthplace?"
People are being sent here from various search engines, due to a fluke in Google's algorithms.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in Florida, Missouri on November 30, 1835. The family moved to Hannibal, Missouri a few years later. Hannibal is the town that Clemens made famous, so I'm assuming they're using this as a trick question.

Here's a pre-emptive strike..... "How did Samuel Clemens get the name Mark Twain?" And "What does the name Mark Twain mean?"

The "marks" were the strips woven into a depth sounding device used on steamboats. "Mark One" meant approximately six feet deep. "Mark Twain", twain meaning "two", meant twelve feet or "safe water". Click here for a full listing of the divisions of marks. Anyone who rode on a steamboat would've heard these terms shouted to the pilot throughout a river trip, so when Clemens needed a pen name, Mark Twain seemed like a natural choice.

Those who love psychobabble have wasted a lot of ink on Clemens picking a pseudonym that means safe but not too deep.

Now, back to our regular scheduled programming. I apologize for whoring for hits. And I would appreciate it if someone could comment on why people suddenly want to know where Sam Clemens was born.


Anonymous said...

because Rush Limbaugh brought it up on his show today...

(Rush is from Missouri and now lives in Florida....he told a caller, also from Missouri and now living in Florida, to look it up, that he'd be surprised)

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Lordy, that man has some power.

brave anonymous poster said...

yep....$400 million worth now, so I hear...

better him than a lot of others out there though.