I recently received a communiqué with a somewhat haunting question from my friend Yvonne that lives in New Brunswick.
Yvonne began reading my blather more than two years ago, when as I remember, ..she recounted “stumbling” across my blog while shopping online for a necklace for her mother.
Yvonne’s question arose from an article in a local newspaper about the safety of food products imported from the U.S.?
Questioning specifically about dioxin, as I have on more than a few occasions, provided “my opinion” along with whatever information and hard evidence I could glean from (available) sources on the Internet, Yvonne had me “imagined” as (an expert) on the subject.
When of course, “in truth,” ..nothing could be farther from the truth. What I (actually) know about dioxin is that it was and is the primary ingredient in “agent orange,” a defoliant that was used extensively in Vietnam during the war, both while I was there and afterwards.
Dioxin and (agent orange) are products manufactured by the multinational chemical conglomerate Monsanto…
Beyond the scope of cyberspace, I have a good friend by the name of Tom that lives on the West Coast and pays his rent by advocating for America’s veterans, both past and present.
Tom’s one of the good guys and on occasion in his efforts to spread the word concerning the reprehensible-treatment that our government provides for our veterans, I lend him a hand in that effort, and in my own effort (to provide) America with information that I believe Americans need to know about the corruption within the ranks of our employees in Washington.
I answered Yvonne’s concerns as best I could, advising her to read the labels on the food products she purchases, not that food labels provide the type and amount of insecticides that are used on the contents of any package or can, albeit with nothing else to say, other than buy a package of seeds and grow your own produce, there is no truth to be had.
Question: What’s the phrase; “A Penny for your Thoughts,” have to do with dioxin?
To answer that question adequately, I’d have to call Yvonne and ask her what she was thinking when she typed it into the subject line…
As to what the phrase means; it’s a quaint method of inquiring as to what an individual is thinking.
As to where the phrase originated; the Internet provides more than a few opinions…
John Heywood (1497 – 1580) was an English writer known for his plays, poems, and collection of proverbs.
Heywood moved to London some time in his late teens. He spent time at Broadgate Hall, Oxford, and was active at the royal court by 1520 as a singer. (Source, Wikipedia).
The best explanation, (at least in my opinion,) is as follows;
By — John Corrado…
Let me introduce you to a gentleman by the name of John Heywood. Born in London somewhere around 1497 (the London registry of births and deaths being unreliable once one attempts to research before, say, 1660), he was a man of masterful artistic talents.
In 1515 he was a singer for the king, and eventually moved on to training choir boys to sing for the king as well and to write his own music to be performed for the king.
By middle age, Heywood began to dabble in non-musical arts–specifically, in the writing of “interludes,” small plays performed between other, larger plays, or even between acts of a very large play.
When Heywood started writing, most interludes were of the morality play variety. Heywood eventually broke from this form and instead wrote small comedies of everyday life and manners. The Play of the Wether (1533) and The Playe Called the Foure P.P. (1547) are considered the best of the interlude form.
While Heywood was not adverse to poking fun at the Church, he remained a staunch and outspoken Catholic–so much so that when the Protestant King Edward took the throne, Heywood fled to Belgium to live out the rest of his days.
You or I might be satisfied with simply being the foremost playwright of our day, changing the form of plays and paving the way for future luminaries such as Shakespeare and Marlowe.
Not John Heywood, who found enough time between writing interludes and fighting for Catholicism in England to pen a two-hundred page book entitled;
“A dialogue conteinying the nomber in effect of all the proverbes in the Englishe tongue.” In 1546.
Later reprints, he called it;
“The Proverbs of John Heywood.”
Notwithstanding, that title is a misnomer in several ways. First, Heywood never claimed to be actually creating these proverbs; he was just cataloging the ones he had heard.
However, as in science, it doesn’t matter who invented it, it just matters who was first to publish it, – accordingly, many common proverbs are now attributed to Heywood.
The title is also a misnomer because not all the entries in it could really be called proverbs.
While “it’s an ill wind that blows no good” and “no man ought to look a given horse in the mouth” qualify, such statements as “butter would not melt in her mouth” and “went in one ear and out the other” really don’t.
It’s in this book that we find the earliest known citation of the line, …
While it’s unlikely that Heywood coined the phrase himself (excuse the pun), there’s no documentation to tell us how much further back it might go?
For all we know, it originated twenty thousand years ago with the caveman equivalent of; …
“bright shiny rock for your thoughts.”
Truth forges understanding, I’ll be back tomorrow