’20 A To Z Challenge – Y


Here she is, ladies and gentlemen – this week’s featured artist, fresh from her tour of the Egotism Hilton, singing a medley of her greatest hit, ‘Here’s My Number, Call Me Maybe.’  or as the inattentive among us mondegreen, Here’s My Number, So Call Me Baby.   😯


That ain’t all we call you.  As the band Sugarloaf says in their song Don’t Call Us, We got your number when you walked through the door.  She joins a list of artists that Canadians have to apologize for inflicting on Americans, not quite beginning with William Shatner, but including Neil Yoda Young, Jim Carey, Celine Dion, Mike Meyers, Brent Butt, Alanis Morisette, Avril Lavigne, Mister Nickleback – Chad Kroeger, and Canada’s answer to McCauley Kulkin, Justin Bieber.

Carly Rae Jepsen (born November 21, 1985) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actress. Born and raised in Mission, British Columbia, Jepsen performed several lead roles in her high school’s musical productions and pursued musical theatre at the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, BC. After completing her studies, she relocated to Vancouver and later competed on the fifth season of Canadian Idol in 2007, placing third, in 2008.

Wait a minute!!?  The old eyes (and memory) aren’t what they used to be.  This post is supposed to be about a word beginning with the letter Y.  A heartfelt Canadian apology!  Sorry!  It’s not supposed to be about Jepsen.  It’s supposed to be about


yepsen – the amount that can be held in two cupped hands


While I welcome and appreciate the accuracy and interlinked logic of the Metric System, it took me more than a few years to get used to it.  I still mourn and bemoan the loss of the British Imperial System of measurement but – what were those guys smoking?   It was more than idiosyncratic; it bordered on idiotic.  They just made (sh)it up as they went along.

Three barleycorns, side by side was an inch.  The length of a King’s foot became the ‘foot’ measurement.  A yard, was from his nose to the tip of his outstretched arm, and the distance between the tips of two outstretched arms was the fathom.  Everyone’s hands are different sizes, so everyone’s Yepsen was a different size.  (Somehow, that sounds faintly pornographic.)  😯 

In the 16th century the rod (5.5 yards, or 16.5 feet) was defined (as a learning device and not as a standard) as the length of the left feet of 16 men lined up heel to toe as they emerged from church, with variations from 9 to 28 feet.  (Why must the measurement be taken after these good men attended church?  Did their feet swell (or contract?) during service?)
There were several versions of the pound.  Eventually, they coalesced down to the Troy Pound, which was used to weigh medicines and precious metals, and the Avoirdupois (French = have weight) Pound, which weighed everything else.

The Troy Pound weighs less than the Avoirdupois Pound.  That screws up the silly old riddle, Which weighs more, a pound of gold, or a pound of feathers?  Since gold is weighed in Troy, the pound of feathers actually weighs more.

In the past, there has been talk – before the medication kicked in – of Metric Days, consisting of an AM and a PM of 10 Metric hours each with 100 Metric minutes.  A Metric week would have 10 days.  This has not been one of my Seinfeld blogs, about nothing.  It’s been a distraction post about something – anything – else.  Fortunately, it’ll only be two standard Imperial days till I publish something less frivolous.  If you’re out of therapy from worrying about those Metric days and weeks, stop by.

10 thoughts on “’20 A To Z Challenge – Y

  1. shimoniac says:

    I give you possibly the most idiosyncratic measurement extant, the Smoot. Equal to five feet seven inches, or one point seven metres.


  2. Rivergirl says:

    Hey now, I love Neil Young! But you can keep poutine and Justin Bieber… that ridiculousness defies measurement.


    • Archon's Den says:

      I kid about Neil Young, not for any lack of musical ability – there’s nothing to Cinnamon Girl, but I love it. I kid about his looks. I’m pretty sure Yoda swung past Earth before he went into retirement. If only he could keep his mouth shut except onstage. Since he moved to LA, he feels he can carp about American political and social situations. Even Lynyrd Skynyrd said in a song, that his opinions weren’t needed or wanted. 😯
      The son has introduced me to shawarma poutine – fries, gravy, cheese curds…. shredded gyro meat, sour cream and Asian hot-sauce. Had some for lunch on Saturday. A dish to die for – or from. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rivergirl says:

        It’s true, Neil’s look has always been a bit humble. As for his political views, I’ve always felt celebrities have just as much right to rant as we do. Their platforms are just larger. He’s lived in California since the 60’s and holds dual citizenship. But I don’t care what else you add to poutine, it’s still soggy French fries. So, that’s a no for me.


  3. I must admit that here in Virginia a lot of people absolutely love Canadian stars. I think the feet were measured in the morning at church, because at night a person’s foot is one-half size larger. Did you know 40 rods equals one fathom, and 320 rods equals one mile? Another fun post!


    • Archon's Den says:

      A furlong started as a furrow-long – the distance a good horse could drag a plow before stopping for a rest. It is 1/8th of a mile. Many Imperial amounts do not divide neatly, or logically, into larger units. Do you know the relatively new word, Backronym? The mile – from the Latin, Mille 1000 double steps by the Roman army – already existed when some of these terms and measurements were invented, and they were intentionally created to (almost) logically fit into it. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Correction: I meant to say 40 rods equals one furlong.


  5. […] turns out that it’s another archaic measurement quantity, equal to 40 acres of land, or a quarter-section – one quarter of a square mile.  It was the […]


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