Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day! May Day! May Day!

Ever wonder why the expression "May Day!" is used for those in distress? Well, it has nothing to do with socialism or communist propaganda. The term in English is derived from the French expression venez m'aider, which literally means "(you) come and help me!" When French was used as the most common language on the international scene, it made sense to use a phrase that most pilots or captains would know. It was used because no one would confuse that phrase with another and is in almost all cases uttered three times in rapid succession so as not be be misinterpreted or garbled in transmission. Believe it or not, the term was proposed by a Brit, Frederick Stanley Mockford, in 1923 when attempting to come up with a distress signal for airplane traffic designated between Paris and London. Obviously the French and its near-sounding English equivalent fit the bill.
Lots of interesting things happening now. I invite you all to check out my reports on, where you will note I am now listed as the New Orleans Performing Arts Examiner. Here's the link for

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