5 05 2008

Trivia: the details of a dog’s day. 

Cigarette stubs in the gutter, gum on a shoe, the tail of another dog, strewn with hair obviously not it’s own…Though the word itself means “something that isn’t important”, any dog knows that the devil’s in the details, non e vero?

But does anyone out there know (without looking it up) where or why the word originated?

Latin, trivium: three roads.Appian061106 Intersection on the Way

In Roman times, messages were posted at the intervals of intersections along the Roman roads.  intersectionThose messages, sometimes very important, became “trivia”…not so insignificant after all.

By the middle ages, trivium had evolved into the road to wisdom through three fields of study: grammar, rhetoric, and dialectics…Latin scholar booka highway forged into the future by such nobles as William F. Buckley.

It was not until 1902 that the word became associated with random information.  Thanks to Logan Pearsall Smith and his little book of random thoughts, Trivia, the word we use today was born.

You may ask how a small Roman dog might come to know all this?small dogs

Trivia, of course. 

Keep your nose to the ground and your mind open.small dog with shadow


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