Septem means 7, so why is September the 9th month?
An observation from the lavatory of Air New Zealand 787 Dreamliner
Hello intersectional thinkers 👋
Greetings from Tauranga, NZ!
Air New Zealand is one of my favourite airlines, and their (slightly creepy) butterfly wallpapered bathroom led to the first unexpected intersection:
Is the wide winged swift butterfly aka septem-octo-septem , related to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner?!
To my surprise, there is no search results for this on Google!!
Do you happen to be an aviation geek / butterfly phD? Please someone tell me this is not just a coincidence…!
Which led to the second unexpected intersection:
If septem is 7, why is September the 9th month, not the 7th?!
This question seems less niche:
And come to think of it, octo means 8, novem means 9, decem means 10…?! How did I miss this all these years?!
(Leave a 👀 if you already knew this, and a 🙈 if you realized this with me lol)
Turns out, this is an example of the idiosyncrasies of powerful individuals - in this case, it was Julius Caesar.
His choice to revamp the 10 month Roman calendar to the 12 month Julian calendar meant adding 2 extra months, and messing up the numerical order of the months.
Come to think of it, this is not the first time something literally means one thing but represents something else.
Like kombucha - it’s kelp tea in Japan, but a funky fermented sugary drink (that personally, like Arizona Green Tea, shouldn’t be allowed to use the label ‘tea’) selling off the shelves in every hip town around the world.
"Change is the only constant in life." - Heraclitus, Greek philosopher who likes wordplay and paradoxes
1 visual Zettelkasten
I finally found the science that connects two things dear to my heart:
Zettelkasten note-taking (in Obsidian)
I explain it here:
Have a good week!
PS. Listening to this cute song while writing this:
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🙈 right there with you, Vicky. Thanks for the fun explainer!
👀 I do like the cultural meanings embedded in the names of months and days in English (and various other languages), as opposed to Chinese where you're just like, oh, what a beautiful Weekday Two of Eight Month... Also, always found it interesting how Japanese retains the literal, linguistic roots of Monday and Sunday, at least. How did humans decide on all this shit?