Today\’s Vocabulary Lesson

A friend sent me this item about the origin of a common word. I’m not sure of its accuracy (okay .. I’m almost 100% certain it’s not accurate), but it’s amusing.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything was transported by
ship. It was also before commercial fertilizer’s invention, so large
shipments of manure were common. In dry form it weighed a lot
less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only
became heavier, the process of fermentation began again,
of which a by-product is methane gas.

As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what
could, and did, happen. Methane began to build up below decks
and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern,
KA-BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was
determined just what was happening. After that, the bundles of
manure were always stamped with the term “S.H.I.T” on them,
which meant to the sailors to “Ship High In Transit.” In other
words, high enough off the lower decks so that any water that
came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start
the production of methane.

You probably didn’t know this true history of the word SHIT.
Neither did I. I always thought it was a golf term.

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