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12 June 2006

Nautical Terminology #2: Press Gang

This nautical term is dedicated to Snaz, for her vibrant imagination, and for getting up early on a cold wintry morning to come and walk the puppy with me.

Press Gang
When there weren't enough people in the Navy (ie. during the Napoleonic wars), the navy had to get able seamen to 'volunteer' to join. Except 'able seamen' was often defined as 'hanging about near the sea' or 'drinking at a pub near the sea', and 'volunteer' meant 'being chased by a gang of Navy people and sat on until you agreed to go on the ship'. The men who 'persuaded' the 'seamen' to 'volunteer' were called Press Gangs. (from the French prest meaning 'loan': you got an advance on your wages if you agreed to volunteer)

(a different sort of press gang)

2 comments:

snaz said...

Humph!

You are clever with words. You flattered my imagination. You even placed a gorgeous photo of Spike and Lynda in a post dedicated to me.

But I'm still challenging you to pistols at dawn for what you said about Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables over at Something About Canoes.

You've started something now, missy.

lili said...

i repeat my defense from Canoe's blog:

he's such a PUSHOVER. he's nice in the very beginning, when he's pulling her hair and teasing her. Then this happens:

"Things can't go on like this any longer. Anne, I love you. You know I do. I -- can't tell you how much. Will you promise me that some day you'll be my wife?"

and he's just never the same again. all the spark goes out of him and he's just all "ooh, Queen Anne, queen of my heart and life and home".

i'm sorry. i used to be a gilbert fan, too. but now it's just gone. i still have a very soft spot for the anne books (and have just dragged out a couple of volumes to find the aforementioned "evidence"), even though there are a few too many fervent references to the Bible. But gilbert has forever flown from the cage of my heart. (as anne might say)

the story girl, on the other hand, ROCKS.