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Staff member
I have open ears for suggestions regarding this forum. This is a project in evolution and it can get blown in directions according to its users.

Uncle Gizmo

Founding Member
I have a suggestion for a area on the forum, actually a single thread might do it though. I believe I was listening to Melvin Bragg on Radio 4 and he was talking about printing. In the discussion it came up that the reason that we have "balloon" and other words with double letters in them is that the typesetters at the time I believe they were in the Netherlands, I don't know why I remember that! They were peace workers, and they were paid on the number of letters they placed in the typesetting frame! So it was in their interest to add extra letters to increase their income. Hence the spelling of words attracted unnecessary double combinations. Exactly as in "balloon" ... I've never been able to find anything on the internet that confirms this.. It's my request for somewhere where I can post requests for missing knowledge, something like that anyway...
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Founding Member
Interesting, Uncle G. Sometimes all you have to do is follow the money. If any of you ever went to south Louisiana for an historic plantation tour, you would note the large number free standing clothes cabinets - chiffoniers and the like. Turns out that back in the time they were built, houses were taxed on the number of doors inside and out, which included doors to built-in clothes closets. So rather than build closets, the homeowners built the rooms without closets and instead used a bunch of chiffoniers, which were not taxed because they were furniture.
@Jon I browsed through a few topics and there are several interesting ones I considered replying to.

However, I know that replying to relatively old threads is frowned upon in some forums.

Do you have a policy for that, or it doesn't matter?