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Thursday Cannon Fodder: words

Closing Time For New England’s Last HoJo’s Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

At the risk of unnecessarily tooting my own horn, I’ve come to realize that I know a fair deal of random, not very useful, things. Yesterday, that manifested in my pulling two random words: otolaryngology (which I needed help to spell) and metronome (probably not as impressive of a pull). I recently had reason to use the word “palanquin” in a text message. And although I’m sure there are plenty of people who have deeper sports knowledge in particular sports, I’m pleased with the width-to-depth ratio of mine.

The depth of random knowledge extends outside sport, but of course, when I want to share one as an example here, my mind is filled with a nondescript, echoing buzz. Ah, just got one. Did you know the song “Smoke on the Water” is about a fire at a casino in Lausanne, Switzerland? The band Deep Purple was playing a gig there, someone fired a flare gun off in the venue, and the casino burned to the ground. The song is about the smoke billowing over Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). Shout out to my sister who lives in Switzerland and my dad who first shared that fact with the family.

It’s fun. I enjoy plumbing the depths of my memory for facts. My grandmother keeps telling me I should try out for Jeopardy. Maybe I will one of these days. The downside is that I have to catch myself to avoid being annoying and pedantic. Nobody likes a know-it-all, and I think I can come off as one sometimes.

What are some of your favorite underused / “unknown” words? Can you come up with a random fun fact to share with the group?