Ever thought about that word, deadlines? Dead lines? Is it that the line itself is dead? Or that your death is somehow connected to the line? Before the line that is dead, you are alive, after the line, you are dead, because you didn’t make your deadline. Actually, according to Wiktionary.com (I love Wikipedia and its spinoffs), the understanding of a deadline as a due date comes from journalism, which in turn adopted it from printing, going back to the days of the old printing presses, where a dead line was a line on a plate that did not move. Like many of the words in the english language, deadline – as a due date – is not all that old. Interestingly, other contexts the word has been used in include a fishing line that is set and not moved, left to wait for a bite, and in the prison system, as a line (often a fence) over which inmates must not go or they will be shot.
Your dead line is March 13th. Friday the 13th, in fact. How’s that for an ominous deadline date? (Speaking of relatively recent, apparently references to Friday the 13th being unlucky really only start appear in the early 1900s – the connection has been made to a book that came out at that time by Thomas W. Lawson called Friday, the thirteenth, about a Wall Street broker who uses the superstition to his advantage.)
Friday the 13th would be today. Today is the last day I am officially accepting material for the blog carnival The Moth and Me, which will be posted at NAMBI on Sunday. As you all know, I am crazy about moths (only slightly less crazy than I am about birds, and just a tad more than I am about nature in general), and I hope to see this carnival thrive and prosper. But that requires that people send in their links! For the first edition or two I’m not picky about date – send in anything you have, even if it’s from a year or two ago. Let’s give this fabulous group of organisms their due! I will unofficially still accept material up to late tomorrow (Saturday), but don’t leave it to the last minute if you can – I’ll be working to put together the post tomorrow, and would like to have material in hand by then.
Your other deadline, which is fortunately is a little further in the future, is for Festival of the Trees. This will be a busy month for me, in terms of hosting carnivals, in that I’ll be doing two within a couple weeks of each other. Links for FOTT will need to be in to me by March 30, for an April 1 carnival. Trees, and anything tree-related (such as tree-specific fungi, tree-using insects, or tree-loving people), will be happily accepted.
Specify which carnival the links are for in your subject line. One post per person preferably, although if you have two really good ones and just can’t decide, go ahead and send them both in. Email them to: sanderling [at] symbiotic [dot] ca or, for FOTT, use the online submission form.
Looking forward to seeing what everyone has to offer!
3 thoughts on “Deadlines”
I was just reading this morning on The Writer’s Almanac that the idea that Friday is unlucky has been around for hundred’s of years, it is mentioned in Chaucer’s Cantebury Tales. They also said that the idea of 13 being unlucky came from Judas being the 13th seated at the Last Supper. That superstition dates back at least to the 1700s. It doesn’t give an idea when the two superstitions combined but says that at some point they did.
Quick question about The Moth and Me. Can the posts be about moth caterpillars? And how old a post is acceptable? As you can imagine we don’t get a lot of opportunity to view moths up here at the North End of Baffin Island.
Thanks for the notes, Clare. I did notice there were quite a number of theories on the origin of the superstition behind Friday the 13th on the Wikipedia page, some going back several centuries, but that the page indicated the time where it seemed to arrive in pop culture was with the publication of that book. Prior to that, Friday the 13th would probably have received about the same amount of hype as black cats or walking under ladders does today. At least, that was my impression. It’s pretty neat all the history behind these things that we tend not to think about very often.
Regarding the carnival, certainly, caterpillars are perfectly acceptable! As are old posts. I can understand that you would have a rather small window of opportunity where you are, and it won’t open for a little while yet. The way I see it, when the moths are out and flying it should be reasonable to expect that people could post something current, but while they’re all holed up we can continue to enjoy past experiences by revisiting old posts. Obviously the timeframe will differ for different people. The first one or two editions I’m making an exception in that since it’s new people weren’t planning for it the same way they might with trees or birds, and so if we have very few recent posts in these editions that’s okay by me.
Don’t have any posts to share in your carnivals, but I surely look forward to viewing them when they are ready!