If you like to read A LOT and appreciate a challenge, join a read-a-thon. I didn’t know such a thing even existed until today, but it sounds pretty awesome, esp. because I already read all the time. The goal is to read as much as you possibly can within a week and update your reading progress as well as interact with other people who are also doing the challenge. There are some prizes available, but it’s really about the experience. Now the question is, which books should I read? My shelves are full and I’ve even got some library books hanging out so there’s no shortage of material.
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
For prisoners held at concentration camps during World War II, a new language called lagerszpracha arose from necessity. In many camps, there were prisoners of up to forty different nationalities, many of whom spoke different languages. It became increasingly apparent that they would need to use a more familiar common language (also known as a lingua franca to us word nerds).
This language became lagerszpracha, also refereed to as lagerjargon or, rather morbidly, crematorium Esperanto. The official language of the camps was still German, but prisoners used lagerszpracha to communicate among themselves, particularly because using their native language was forbidden.
There were different varieties of lagerszpracha, which was created primarily out of Polish, Yiddish, Hungarian and Silesian dialects, as well as other languages spoken in the given camp. These differences were observed not only between camps but also between the language used in men’s and women’s camps.
Below is a book I am currently reading, which briefly mentioned lagerzspracha and made me curious to investigate more:
When I was kid, my mom and I would often walk on either side of a pole and then say “bread and butter” when we came back together on the other side. Today, while we were driving, she brought it up, asking “I wonder where that comes from?” Immediately, I decided to find out.
Turns out this “bread and butter” tradition dates back to at least the 1920s, if not earlier. It is a superstition that if a couple (either romantic or friends) is broken apart during their walk by either another person or another object, they must say “bread and butter” when they meet up again, or they are doomed to have a conflict later on. The thought is that bread and butter go together, and that bread, once buttered, cannot be “unbuttered.”
Although my family has only ever used “bread and butter” in this way, people have also used “salt and pepper” in this superstition.
Source: Signs and Superstitions Collected from American College Girls, published by American Folklore Society in 1923
A bit about me: I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Parkside with a B.A. in English. Since then I’ve taught as an adjunct lecturer, published some poetry, and gotten involved in the local Kenosha/Racine WI arts scene. My next great adventure will be grad school, but applications and planning and are still in the works for that.