The Fellowship of the Ring guys stand in a line too
(Mirror Daily, United States) – It’s called Why does the other line always move faster? and yes, this history of standing in line book will freak out your friends.
If you ever wondered what is the science and history behind standing in line, you have too much free time. But now you’re finally going to get your answer, via this wonderful new book. Your friends will judge you, of course, because instead of finishing that Fitzgerald novel now you’re reading about standing in line. But who cares? You’re a hipster, own to it.
It’s written by David Andrews, who started off by just wanting to find simple answers for questions like the one in the title, but ended up getting more than he bargained for – a whole lot of history and science.
His interest for standing in line comes from the time he was in the Navy in boot camp and he, of course, spent a lot of time queuing up for stuff like food or check-ups. Also, he remembers his childhood in the early years of post-communist Romania, when he and his parents had to stand in huge lines for every-day things like milk, eggs and bread.
Apparently, standing in line was born somewhere in France. The modern standing in line. Not that the Neanderthals or the people in the middle ages never got the idea of standing one behind the other in a straight line while waiting to go to the bathroom or to clobber a mammoth. Our idea today of standing in line, therefore, probably made its way from France to England in the 1800s. Andrews states in his book that it probably was a bloke called Thomas Carlyle, historian and satirist who wrote about his trips to France.
He described the way the peasants used to line up in front of bakery shops, waiting for food, when there was a famine or a bread shortage. Let them eat cake, right Marie? In the same way, Andrews believes that it was the French revolution who spurred up the standing in line notion. Its slogan was “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”, so standing patiently in line, waiting for your turn, meant that everybody was treated as equals. Or everybody was equally poor and no one had enough money to deserve being treated differently, I would say. It’s like arm wrestling. Sometimes it’s not a draw because you’re equally strong, but because you’re equally weak.
Nonetheless, Andrews’ book is filled with science, history and fun facts like that which, after scaring off your friends will possibly entertain them a little during lunch one day.
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