Sometimes just following links teaches you stuff that you’d never even considered . Take, for instance, internet acronyms; everyone’s LOL’ed or exclaimed ‘WTH?!’ at some point, and we assume it’s something that grew out of chatrooms and the eldritch phenomenon of txt spk – not so!
See, Boing Boing posted a blog pointing to the New York Farmers Museum’s discovery that agricultural workers in 1906 were using codes to minimise the cost of sending equipment orders via telegraph. This then lead to a link to a sample of The ANARE Code used by the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions to save telegraph space- my favourite one is YIHKE (“I have grown a beard which is generally admired”). It’s fascinating stuff.
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