30 August 2010

Reading Nonsense

It’s Reading Monday. Personally I have never quite understood what it is about Reading that makes it eligible for its own day here on our blog – I mean, we don’t have Bristol Tuesdays or Warwick Wednesdays, now do we? Nevertheless, Reading, Berkshire gets its own day. Understand it if you can.

I’ve never been to Reading, so I can’t tell you all that much about it (other than what Wikipedia informs me, but you can check that out yourself. Unless you accidentally click on some other language in the left sidebar on Wikipedia – you might end up get the page in Volapük [whatever language that is] or something. If you can understand that, you’re better than me! [Though the Volapük Wikipedia page for Reading isn’t all that informative, so I don’t reckon I’m missing out on much]).

However, since I don’t know much about the topic of this blog post I have done a little research in an attempt to assemble as much information as possible.

For instance, in addition to the one in Britain, there appears to be more places called Reading. In the US alone, there are (at least) eight Readings, and then also a North Reading, a West Reading and a Port Reading (I wonder, though, why there aren’t any East, South or Starboard Readings).

There are also a number of people by the name of Reading, most of whom are dead. Such as John of Reading (who died in 1346), Pierson B. Reading (who died in 1868) or Bertice Reading (who died in 1991). There are several people named John Reading, and again, many of them are dead. Not to worry, though, there is a Peter Reading who is still alive, so it is too hasty to conclude that there is a connection between the name Reading and death rates.

“Reading” can also refer to certain activities. For instance, in legislature reading refers to “the mechanism by which a bill is introduced”. How clever. In computer wizardness, “reading” is “the act of a computer extracting data from a storage medium”. Speaking of mediums, in divination “reading” can refer to any number of ways of predicting the future. Reading tea leaves, reading palms, reading other types of tropical trees, reading omens and reading cards.

Finally, “reading” is also a process, apparently. Again I consulted Wikipedia: “[Reading is a] cognitive process of decoding symbols to derive meaning from text”.

I have no idea what that means. I think I’ll find a book instead.


Amie Borst said...

very clever!

i'm with you...i think i'll read a book! :)

Unknown said...

Wow, "[Reading is a] cognitive process of decoding symbols to derive meaning from text." - this sounds complex. I must be really smart to be able to complete this task on a regular basis. ;)


Cruella Collett said...

Amie - wish mine didn't have to be all history books, though. *curses thesis*

Clarissa - it DOES sound complex! And I think you're right - you ARE really smart :)

CA Heaven said...

I can tell you one thing about Reading: That's where they have the meteorological supercomputer center where the long-term forecasts for Northern Europe is computed >:)

Cold As Heaven

Hart Johnson said...

*gigglesnort* I just love your unexpected twists, Mari. And I think Clarissa is right--we are awfully smart to be able to read!

nonamedufus said...

Oh, so you're over here, too. You get around. Do you play Monopoly? There's (or there was in the version when I was a kid) a Reading Railroad. Yeah, I wouldn't lie.

Cruella Collett said...

Cold As Heaven - I didn't know that! So glad to have learned a little bit more about Reading today. Maybe this will come in handy for the next Reading Monday..? ;)
I guess this is the origin of the expression "Only as accurate as Reading." In fact, I know it is, as I just made it up...

Tami - what can I say? I was born to twist (and shout)!

nonamedufus - I do play Monopoly. Well, not right now. That would be silly. But I've been known to do so on occasions. In fact, my cousin and I invented an extended version of Monopoly which basically was just a HEAP more money, so we never, ever got broke. We enjoyed our money, we did. Where was I? Oh, yes. Reading Railroad? Never heard of that. Makes for another interesting Reading fact, though :)

ViolaNut said...

"It's pronounced Reading, to rhyme with bedding, not reading, to rhyme with breeding." - Mrs. Povey, A Pack of Lies, Geraldine McCaughrean

I'm too lazy to look up the quote, but I'm pretty sure that's it. Haven't read it in 15 years or so, but whatever. ;-)

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

And I just thought Reading was…well, reading.

Cruella Collett said...

Leanne - see, this is why you now far more Python quotes than me. Things just doesn't stick like that in my mind...

Jane - so did I. Until I accidentally came across Reading in Google.. ;)

Chris Fuccione said...

I found your blog from a Google news alert that I have set up whenever "North Reading" shows up.

I grew up in North Reading MA and on the highway there was a sign for our town that said "No Reading" so the running joke in town was we were a town of no reading.

Chris Fuccione
North Reading class of 83

Cruella Collett said...

Chris - that is positively brilliant! I love a good running joke. And it never really occurred to me that this would be a way of attracting new readers... (Glad you're able to see the humour in this)