Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MI Printing: Word Origin: Over A Barrel

Ca, 1912 illustration of an inmate being punished
in an American prison
The phrase "Over A Barrel" has been in use since at least 1939 when it was used in Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep: "We keep a file on unidentified bullets nowadays. Some day you might use that gun again. Then you’d be over a barrel."

The metaphor is probably a reference to a prisoner being strapped over a barrel and flogged. Literal references to a barrel being used for flogging date back to the 19th century. This poem from 1869’s Nonsense by Brick Pomeroy uses over a barrel to refer to children being punished by a schoolteacher:

I’d like to be a school-marm,
And with the school-marms stand,
With a bad boy over a barrel
And with a spanker in my hand

There is also a reference to using a barrel as part of the treatment of a drowning victim.  The mode of treatment is to roll the patient over a barrel, as if he were drowned only in the bowels, and it was expected that, by dislodging the water at that point, the victim would soon be revived.

The flogging metaphor, however, fits the meaning of the modern use much better than the drowning metaphor and therefore seems more likely as the origin.

Monday, May 30, 2011

MI Printing : AZ History One City At a Time: Ft. Huachuca, Arizona

What today is Ft. Huachuca was a new fort to counter the Chiricahua threat and to secure the border with Mexico. On March 3, 1877, Captain Samuel Marmaduke Whitside, accompanied by two companies of the 6th Cavalry, chose a site at the base of the Huachuca Mountains that offered sheltering hills and a perennial stream. In 1882, Camp Huachuca was redesignated a fort.

General Nelson A. Miles controlled Fort Huachuca as his headquarters and against Geronimo in 1886. After the surrender of Geronimo in 1889, the Apache threat was essentially extinguished, but the army continued to operate Fort Huachuca because of its strategic border position. In 1913, the fort became the base for the "Buffalo Soldiers", the 10th Cavalry Regiment, which was composed of African Americans. It served this purpose for twenty years.

With the build-up during World War II, the fort had an area of 71,253 acres, with quarters for 1,251 officers and 24,437 enlisted soldiers. The 92nd and 93rd Infantry Divisions, both with African-American troops, trained at Huachuca.

In 1947 the post was closed and turned over to the Arizona Fish and Game Department. However, due to the Korean War, a January 1951 letter from the Secretary of the Air Force to the Governor of Arizona invoked the reversion clause of a 1949 deed. On February 1, 1951 The US Air Force took official possession of Ft. Huachuca, making it one of the few Army installations to have an existence as an Air Force Base. The Army retook possession of the base a month later, and reopened the post in May 1951 to train Aviation Engineers in air field construction as part of the Korean War build up.

On 1 February 1954 Huachuca was reactivated after a seven-month shut-down following the Korean War. It was the beginning of a new era for this one time cavalry outpost, one which saw Huachuca emerge as a leader in the development of Electronic warfare.  Major tenants are the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command 9th Army Signal Command and the United States Army Intelligence Center. Libby Army Airfield is located on post and shares the runway with Sierra Vista Municipal Airport; it is on the list of alternate landing locations for the space shuttle, though it has never been used as such. Fort Huachuca was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

The area is so desolate and barren, an old army description of the fort states, "It is the only fort in the Continental United States where you can be AWOL (absent without leave) for three days and they can still see you leaving"!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Gave Their All

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead".  While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. 

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971  to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays).

In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies.

Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time.

One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. It runs on the Sunday preceding the Memorial Day holiday. The Coca-Cola 600 stock car race has been held later the same day since 1961.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mi Printing: Word Origins: The Devil To Pay

Devil to Pay

The Myth:
It is commonly asserted that this phrase is nautical in origin. According to the myth, the devil in question is not Satan, but rather the seam at the ship's keel, the longest on board. The verb pay means to caulk the seam with tar. So to pay the devil is to caulk the seam along the keel of the ship, a long and arduous task. While that is a great explanation, it unfortunately it is not support by the evidence as being the origin of the phrase. Rather the opposite is true; the phrase probably gave birth to the nautical term devil.

The Facts
As in other cues, we have to go to the lexicographic record. The phrase the devil to pay first appears in Jonathan Swift's 1711 Journal to Stella, a context that has nothing to do with the sea. The phrase has at its origin the metaphor of a Faustian bargain. One pays the devil with one's soul, a very high price.

The devil to pay was indeed used by sailors to mean caulking the keel's seam, but as a humorous application of the Faustian metaphor. Devil is indeed a word used to refer to the seam along the keel of a ship, but the term does not appear until 1744, well after the phrase the devil to pay was in use.

To pay is a nautical verb meaning to smear tar or pitch, dating from 1627.

So it appears as if the sailors used the phrase as a play on their jargon word pay. The nautical use of devil probably comes from the phrase, not vice versa.

This Word Myth is excerpted from page 104 in the excellent humorous book Word Origins by David Wilton.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

MI Printing: Special : Retractable Banners

Advertising that stands up and stands out! Our retractable banners provide mobile presentation solutions for trade show display booths, retail stores, restaurants, and hotels. Our affordable banner display stands and trade show banners are lightweight and easy to use so you will look like a pro wherever you show.

33.5 x 78 Retractable Banner $190.00 from customer supplied art, sales tax extra if applicable.

We are ready to help just give us a call at 623.582.1302

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MI Printing: Word Myths; Spud

From Mario Pei’s 1949 The Story of Language.  Pei writes, “the potato, for its part, was in disrepute some centuries ago. Some Englishmen who did not fancy potatoes formed a Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet. The initials of the main words in this title gave rise to spud.” Like all other pre-20th century acronymic origins, this one is false.

The word Spud comes from the digging implement used to uproot potatoes. The word is of unknown origin and was originally used as a term for a short knife or dagger. This sense dates to the 15th century. It subsequently came to be used to denote a variety of digging tools. About 1845 the name was transferred to the potato itself.

Why knives were once called spuds is unknown but the origin is not an acronym.

Monday, May 23, 2011

MI Printing : AZ History One City At a Time: Williams

The location of William's at the base of Bill Williams Mountain accounts for its name. Fist white men in the area were Sam Ball and John Vinton, who arrived in 1876. However, their interest were bought by Charles Thomas Rogers who arrived in 1877.

With the coming of the railroad, William's began its long history of prosperity and poverty followed by more prosperity, gradually becoming an important lumbering and railroad town, which is today known as the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon".

A double peaked lava cone formation, Bill Williams Mountain appears on the map made for the Sitgreaves' survey by Richard H. Kern in 1851. In Arizona during the year 1837, Antoine Leroux, a famous guide, met the rugged "mountain man" after whom the mountain is named. At that time William's was in Arizona alone on the river which now bears his name. He had traveled through the Mogollon and Little Colorado River region, living off the land and trapping beaver. Leroux reports that Williams headed north across the Colorado River, thus completing his only known visit to what is now Arizona.

William Sherely Williams served as an itinerant preacher for nine years, followed by twelve on the frontier and an additional seven as a plains man and mountain man, according to Zebulon Pike, who knew him. Pike described Williams as a hunter and trapper who was tall, gaunt, redheaded, and said he was fairly well educated. While transporting baggage for the Fremont expedition, Williams was killed by Ute Indians in 1849. Two years later Kern used information given by Antoine Leroux in placing the name of Bill Williams on a Mountain and river in Arizona.

Williams, Arizona would go down in history as being the last town to have its section of Route 66 bypassed. The original plan was to have the last section of the famous highway bypassed somewhere in Texas, but lawsuits that had been filed kept the last section of Interstate 40 from being built around Williams. After settlements called for the state to build three exits for the town, the suits were dropped and I-40 was built.  In 1984, Interstate 40 was opened around the town and newspapers the next day reported the essential end of the famous US 66. The following year, Route 66 was decommissioned.

Today, Williams Main Street is one the best preserved stretches of the Route 66 in America.  Walk Main Street and you’ll find vintage neon on buildings that are preserved to their original character, lots of fun shops with Route 66 merchandise, restaurants that have the character of the Route 66 heyday of the 50’s, coffee shops, internet cafes, and fine dining.  Cowboys swagger through downtown and a gunfight breaks out every night right in the middle of Route 66 April through October.

Friday, May 20, 2011

MI Printing: The Very First Use of Printing

Printing can trace its history to around 3,000 BC.  Printing began with the duplication of images.

The use of round "cylinder seals" for rolling an impression into clay tablets goes back to early Mesopotamian civilization before 3,000 BC, where they are the most common works of art to survive, and feature complex and beautiful images.

In both Egypt and China, the use of small stamps for seals preceded the use of larger blocks. In Egypt, Europe and India, the printing of cloth certainly preceded the printing of paper or papyrus; this was probably also the case in China. The process is essentially the same - in Europe special presentation impressions of prints were often printed on silk until at least the seventeenth century.

Block printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia both as a method of printing on textiles and later, under the influence of Buddhism, on paper. As a method of printing on cloth, the earliest surviving examples from China date to about 220, and from Egypt to the 4th century.[1] Ukiyo-e is the best known type of Japanese woodblock art print. Most European uses of the technique on paper are covered by the art term woodcut, except for the block-books produced mainly in the fifteenth century.

Some types of printing can trace their roots to the use of stencils.  Stenciling in 2,700 BC was very different. They used color from plants and flowers such as indigo (which extracts blue).

They were used to color cloth for a very long time; the technique probably reached its peak of sophistication in Katazome and other techniques used on silks for clothes during the Edo period in Japan.

In Europe, from about 1450 they were very commonly used to color old master prints printed in black and white, usually woodcuts. This was especially the case with playing-cards, which continued to be coloured by stencil long after most other subjects for prints were left in black and white.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

MI Printing: Word Myths; P.O.S.H.

The Myth

Supposedly this acronym is associated to the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, which from 1842 to 1970 was the major steamship carrier of passengers and mail between England and India. The P. & O. route went through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. The cabins on the port side on the way to India got the morning sun and had the rest of the day to cool off, while starboard ones got the afternoon sun, and were still quite hot at bedtime.

On the return trip, the opposite was true. The cooler cabins, therefore, were the more desirable and were reserved for the most important and richest travelers.

Their tickets were stamped P.O.S.H. to indicate these accommodations–in large violet letters, according to one recollection. This account of the origin of posh was even used in advertising by the P. & O. in the 1960s.

The Facts

The first appearance of the acronymic origin in print that is known was a letter to the editor of the London Times Literary Supplement of 17 October 1935. The writer, an Englishman, wanted to enlighten the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary Supplement, who had marked its origin obscure; he identified port out, starboard home as "an American shipping term describing the best cabins."

Why this phrase described the best cabins he does not say. The earliest association of the acronym with the P. & O. seems to come from A Hundred Year History of the P. & O., by Boyd Cable, which was published in 1937. The author calls it a "tale." And as late as 1962 the librarian of the P. & O. was unable to find any evidence that P.O.S.H. was actually stamped on anything.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MI Printing: Special 20% Off All Carbonless Forms

 At MI Printing we can take care of all of your carbonless needs far beyond just carbonless forms.  These can be used for employment applications, order forms, job tickets, invoices, estimates or proposals. If needed, backside printing is available.

Please let us know what type of padding you expect for your forms.  For best results a PDF file is required for the customer supplied artwork.

We are featuring 20% off all carbonless forms this week at MI Printing.

Need to know more about all the uses for carbonless forms contact us at MI Printing.

We are ready to help just give us a call at 623.582.1302 for our current special pricing on carbonless forms.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

MI Printing: Word Origins: Dead Ringer

We use phrases all the time without really giving their meaning a great deal of thought. You may know that dead ringer means exact duplicate, but why is that?  The two terms appear to have nothing in common. So, why dead; why ringer?

Let's first dispense with the  idea that's sometimes put forward as the origin of this phrase, refers to people who were prematurely buried and who pulled on bell ropes that were attached to their coffins in order to attract attention. There's no evidence for this idea.

A ringer is a horse substituted for another of similar appearance in order to defraud the bookies. This word originated in the US horse-racing fraternity at the end of the 19th century. The word is defined for us in a copy of the Manitoba Free Press from October 1882:  "A horse that is taken through the country and trotted under a false name and pedigree is called a 'ringer.'"

It has since been adopted into the language to mean any very close duplicate. As a verb, 'ring' has long been used to mean 'exchange/substitute' in a variety of situations, most of them illegal. From the same period is the term 'ring castors', meaning to surreptitiously exchange hats. Castors, or casters, were hats made from beaver fur. From the 20th century we have the Australian phrase, 'ring in the gray (or knob)', meaning to substitute a double-sided penny for a genuine one. Coming more up to date we have 'car ringing', which is the replacing of the identification numbers on a stolen car with those from a genuine vehicle.

So, that's ringer; what about dead? Dead, in the sense of lifeless, is so commonly used that we tend to ignore its other meanings. The meaning that's relevant here is exact or precise. This is demonstrated in many phrases; 'dead shot', 'dead center', 'dead heat' and so on.

So, 'dead ringer' is literally the same as 'exact duplicate'. It first came into use soon after the word ringer itself, in the US at the end of the 19th century. The earliest reference that confirms the 'exact duplicate' meaning is from the Oshkosh Weekly Times, June 1888, in a court report of a man charged with being 'very drunk':  "Dat ar is a markable semlance be shoo", said Hart looking critically at the picture. "Dat's a dead ringer fo me. I nebber done see such a semblence."

Monday, May 16, 2011

MI Printing : AZ History One City At a Time: Benson

Benson Arizona was named for Judge William S. Benson of California, a friend of Charles Crocker, president of the Southern Pacific Railroad.  Judge Benson spent many years in the mining regions of the West.  When the railroad came through southern Arizona in 1880, the town of Benson was founded in the San Pedro Valley.

The post office was established July 26, 1880 with John Russ serving as postmaster.  However, the Wells Fargo Station was not established until 1885.

The history of the area goes back much further.  A Spanish missionary, Father Kino brought Spanish culture to the San Pedro Valley in 1692.  A tribe of Pima Indians called the Sobaipuri who had dwelt there for several hundred years inhabited the valley, previously visited by Fray Marcos De Niza in 1539.  In addition to bringing Christianity to the Sobaipuri Indians, Father Kino brought droves of cattle and initiated a series of "rancherias" where the Indian and Spanish settlers raised cattle and grew corn, wheat, barley, figs and grapes.  The San Pedro River, then called San Jorge de Terrenate, flowed freely and produced a lush river valley.  For almost 100 years the Sobaipurl served the  Spanish by buffering the attacks of the hostile Apaches.

Weakened from warfare and epidemics, the Sobaipuri, abandoned the villages to the north such as Tres Alamos.  Spanish assistance in the form of soldiers and missionaries dwindled as time passed.  The local Indians gave up more of the valley to the Apache tribes. by 1762.

In 1828, by official decree of the government of Mexico, all of the settlements of Arizona were abandoned.  Only ruined villages, ranches and wild droves of cattle remained in the San Pedro Valley.

It was with the coming of the Anglo-Americans in the 1850’s that civilization returned to the area that became Benson Arizona.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

MI Printing: International Migratory Bird Day

International Migratory Bird Day officially takes place on the second Saturday in May in the U.S. and Canada and in October in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean each year.

People love birds. Bird watching is a favorite pastime of millions of people. It is the most popular of hobbies, and can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of age. With this popularity, it comes as no surprise that there is more than one day established to recognize, appreciate, and enjoy birds.

International Migratory Bird Day celebrates the incredible journey that migratory birds take each year. They travel thousands of miles between breeding grounds in North America, and their winter homes in Central and South America. Organizers say this is a day to both support, and to increase awareness of conservation efforts in support of migratory birds. They also suggest a field trip into a woods to look for and enjoy migrating birds.

Friday, May 13, 2011

MI Printing: Word Origin Graveyard Shift

The term, Graveyard Shift, for a late-night work shift dates to around the turn of the 20th century. It is a reference to the desolation and loneliness of late-night work. The term gets it start in nautical circles with the form graveyard watch. From G. Tisdale’s book; Three Years Behind The Guns of 1895: "I am to stand the first lookout in the graveyard watch."

1907 sees the move to dry land and shift replaces watch. From Collier’s Magazine of 26 January of that year: From the saloons came the clink of the chips. For it was the “graveyard gamblers” shift...The small hours of the morning, when the carelessly speculative world is asleep, are theirs.

And a year later, in the Saturday Evening Post of 7 November 1908, we see: A month later he and his fellows went on the “graveyardshift. “Graveyard” is the interval between twelve, midnight, and eight in the morning.

The story that is just that a "story" with no facts to back it up. "England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer."

The term does not date to the 16th century as is claimed in the internet lore titled Life in the 1500s. Nor does it have anything to do with men stationed in graveyards listening for those accidentally buried alive to ring bells in their coffins to alert others that they are alive, nor is it a reference to medical students robbing graves in search of cadavers. Graveyards did have guards to watch for and deter grave robbers.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MI Printing: Door Hanger Special

This Week our special is Door Hangers!  There are an effective advertising method and a quick way to reach a very targeted group of buyers or just a specific geographic area.

Door Hangers give you great control over reaching a local buying area.

Rather than mail to what may be an outdated list of addresses with in a target zip-code, the door hanger can be placed based on what is or is not in the driveway.  Your crew can also skip a home that looks like the owner may be away or the property is currently empty. 

This Weeks Special: 3.5" X 8.5" Door Hangers.  Full Color Both Sides (4 / 4) 14pt thickness 5,000 just $314.00 from customer supplied art, sales tax extra if applicable.

Keep in mind that “On Door” Advertising is very effective because your advertising message is displayed on your prospect’s door, it is likely to be carried into your prospect’s home. The door hanger typically stands alone without competition. With a correct design, your special message is highly likely to be read.

Call Paula or Matt at 623.582.1302

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MI Printing: Word Origins: Upper Crust

First appears in literature in 1460 by John Russell's in his book The boke of nurture, folowyng Englondis gise, in a statement that translates to, "Cut the upper crust [of the loaf] for your sovereign".  It was common to give a guest or the family members the best of the bread, meat and vegetables.

There's a wide gulf between that citation and the idea that only the aristocracy were given the upper crust of loaves to eat.  The jump is that somehow the phrase then became shorthand for the nobility.

The term 'upper crust' didn't in fact come to be used figuratively to refer to the aristocracy until the 19th century. The earliest citation that can be found of the term with that meaning is in Slang: A Dictionary of the Turf, by John Badcock, 1823: "Upper-crust - one who lords it over others, is Mister Upper- crust."

The term had previously been used to refer to the outer crust of the Earth's surface and, more frequently, a person's head or hat. That latter use was still in use when the 'aristocracy' meaning was coined, as is shown by this entry from an edition of Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, which was published in the same year as the above reference, 1823: ...but to hear it from the chaffer [mouth] of a rough and ready costard-monger, ogling his POLL from her walker [feet] to her upper crust [head].

Incidentally, costard-monger was the earlier name for costermonger - a street trader who sells greengrocery from a stall or barrow. A costard was the 14th century name for a type of large, ribbed apple and later came to be the name given to apples in general. A costard-monger was initially an apple-seller.

The 'Earth's surface' and 'head/hat' meanings connect 'upper crust' with 'top' and there's every reason to believe that our present application of the term to members of society is another use of that same metaphor. The connection between the 'upper crust' of society and the upper crust of loaves of bread may be more fantasy than fact.

Monday, May 9, 2011

MI Printing : AZ History One City At a Time: Kingman

Kingman, Arizona, was founded in 1882, while Arizona was still a territory. Situated in the Hualapai (wall-a-pie) Valley between the Cerbat and Hualapai mountain ranges, Kingman is known for its very modest beginnings as a simple railroad siding near Beale’s Springs in the Middleton Section along the then newly-constructed route of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad.

Kingman AZ was named for Lewis Kingman. Lewis surveyed along the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad's right-of-way from Needles CA, to Albuquerque NM. Lewis Kingman then supervised the building of the railroad from Winslow AZ to Beale's Springs, which was located near the present day town of Kingman.

Kingman is now the county seat for Mohave County. The Mohave County seat originally was located in what is now Nevada, in the settlement of Callville. This portion of Arizona Territory was transferred to Nevada in 1865 after Nevada's statehood, and became part of Clark County, Nevada. Some feel this loss of land was due to Arizona siding with the south in the American Civil War.

With the loss of this territory, the Mohave County seat was moved to Mohave City in 1866, and then to Hardyville, which became Bullhead City, in 1867. The county seat was then transferred to the mining town of Cerbat in 1871, then to Mineral Park near Chloride in 1872. In 1887, the county seat was moved to Kingman after some period of time without a permanent county seat.

According to local legend, the instruments and records of Mohave County government were taken clandestinely from Chloride and moved to Kingman in the middle of the night during this final transfer of the county seat.

Friday, May 6, 2011

MI Printing: Let's Honor Mother's Day

glitter graphics
Glitter Graphics

Well in a few days (second Sunday of May) it will be Mother's Day for 2011.  Whether it is just a phone call, a gift of chocolate's, flowers, a night out, a spa treatment or dinner out take a moment to show your mother that you think Sunday is a very special day for a very special Mother!

Motherhood is rooted in antiquity, and past rites typically had strong symbolic and spiritual overtones; societies tended to celebrate Goddesses and symbols rather than actual Mothers. The personal, human touch to Mother’s Day is a relatively new phenomenon.

The maternal objects of adoration ranged from mythological female deities to the Christian Church itself. Only in the past few centuries did celebrations of Motherhood develop a decidedly human focus.

When the first English settlers came to America, they discontinued the tradition of Mothering Day. One explanation for the settlers’ discontinuation of Mothering Day was that they just didn’t have time; they lived under harsh conditions and were forced to work long hours in order to survive. Another possibility, however, is that Mothering Day conflicted with their Puritan ideals. Fleeing England to practice a more conservative Christianity without being persecuted, the pilgrims ignored the more secular holidays, focusing instead on a no-frills devotion to God.

The first North American Mother’s Day was conceptualized with Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

MI Printing: Word Origins Bed and Board

Bed and Board: If you were going traveling and wanted to stay at an Inn they usually provided the bed but not the board.

The word "board" in the previous sentence relates to the food that inns were in the business of providing it. Travelers paid extra for their meals, but food was to be had at any place that deemed itself worthy of the name "inn." (Those that wanted only a room could get just that too.)

The "board" in bed and board (or room and board) refers to the board table or sideboard where food was laid out. Common usage came to shift this meaning away from the furniture itself to encompass the food served from it.

More to the point, the term "board" comes from the eating table. Before power tools, it was a great and lengthy effort to make smooth-hewn tables; people would make do with as few pieces as possible. Usually a table was just one board, sometimes two, set on trestles, making a long narrow surface to eat from. Coming to dinner was called "coming to the board," a table cloth was referred to as "board clothes," and when hired help or an apprentice came to stay, they paid in cash or service for their room (where they slept) and their "board" (what they ate).

Note: the American colonials hated making boards suitable for tables so much that they often used split apart shipping crates; there are still examples to be found which have the painted names of the master of the house and the shipping agent/company on the underside.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

MI Printing: Special Custom Carbonless Forms

At MI Printing we can take care of all of your carbonless needs far beyond just carbonless forms.  These can be used for employment applications, order forms, job tickets, invoices, estimates or proposals. If needed, backside printing is available.

Please let us know what type of padding you expect for your forms.  For best results a PDF file is required for the customer supplied artwork.

We are featuring both carbonless forms and envelopes this week at MI Printing.

Need to know more about all the uses for carbonless forms contact us at MI Printing. 

We are ready to help just give us a call at 623.582.1302 for our current special pricing on carbonless forms and envelopes.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MI Printing: Word Myths: "Chew the Fat"

"Chew the Fat" or "Chew the Rag" are English expressions for gossiping or making friendly small talk; the former being mainly in the American vernacular or common speach.

Some sources attribute the phrase, Chew the Fat, to sailors, who during a period of resting and conversing, or while working together, would chew on salt-hardened fat, there are no reliable historical recordings of this practice. It has even been suggested that the phrase is derived from a practice by North American Indians or Inuit of chewing animal hides during their spare time, and even of British farmers chewing on smoked pork, but again, there remains to be no evidence supporting these claims, and would requires accepting a great deal of uncertainty in connecting the phrase from nautical origins to its modern metaphorical use.

Chew the Rag first appeared in print in 1875 in "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang"; "Gents, I could chew the rag hours on end, just spilling out the words and never know no more than a billy-goat what I’d been saying." It is speculated that this phrase is related to cloth, when ladies would work in "sewing circles", or that women may have gossiped while quilting.

Chew the Fat first appeared in 1885 in a book by J Brunlees Patterson called Life in the Ranks of the British Army in India. He implied it was a kind of general grumbling and bending the ears of junior officers to stave off boredom, a typical part of army life. Patterson also uses Chew the Rag in the same sentence he used Chew the Fat,

Monday, May 2, 2011

MI Printing: How Effective is Direct Mail Marketing?

How effective is Direct Mail Marketing?  It depends on two very important parts.  The quality of the printed piece and the quality of the "List."

If you are starting a new business venture, chances are you do not have an extensive budget for expensive, elaborate marketing methods.

Direct Mail Marketing can be less costly, more effective and the perfect way to market your new business or service.

Direct Mailing will not only save you money, it can also offer the ability to reach a larger group of highly targeted customers.

Here are some valuable tips for Direct Mail Marketing to help marketing your latest venture.

1. When you decide to use Direct Mail Marketing, you should have a set plan in mind. 

2. Gather as many good mailing lists as you can. You want a mailing list that is compiled of potential consumers of your product or services. It is always a good practice to make sure the list is up to date. If it is over a year old, and many mailing lists are, much of the information on the list may be inaccurate.

3. Eliminate all duplicate names on your mailing list.  Never send the same letter to the same person more than once.

4. When using Direct Mail Marketing to promote your business or service, you should always mail the promotion to a specific person, and not simply to a company position. You should always obtain the correct first, last names and title of the people on your mailing list.

With MI Printing you don't have to worry about the quality of your mailing piece.