On This Date in History: Ever wonder how a language was invented or who took the time to take an oral language and turn it into a written language? How about words? I mean, I’m looking at Nit and Wit and I”m the one who came up with their names, including their alter egos Barfette and Poop-a-lot and Fat and Cat. Now…the last one…cat. Where did that originate? Why is a cat a cat and a dog a dog and not the other way around?
I’m not sure of all of those answers but I do have an answer for a couple of items. Seems that the Cherokee Nation had a language but it was never written down. There was no alphabet. In the early 19th century, a young man became fascinated by the books of the white man. He was the son of an Indian woman and a white man. Some kids have dreams of being a ball player or an astronaut or something. This kid dreamed of creating a written language. First, he took all of the Cherokee sounds and separated into 85 syllables. Then, he used the Bibles of missionaries as a guide and created a new alphabet. He took letters, presumably the arabic letters used by europeans, and turned them on their sides or even upside down. He also added some additional features such as curlicues. Regardless of how detailed the design of each letter was, the usage was relatively simple.
This language creator tested his new system on his five-year-old daughter. She learned to read his new language in less than a week. In 1821, tribal chiefs were skeptical…that is until they also took but a week to learn the alphabet. With their quick learning, the chiefs were convinced it was a good idea and gave the man permission to teach the language to everyone. It was on this date in 1828 that the first Cherokee Phoenix went to print. It’s still in print today. The first edition came out in English and also the new Cherokee language.
When the creator of the language died in 1843, he was honored in such a way that his name would be remembered forever by millions around the world. You see…the man’s name was Sequoyah and the giant trees that are among the largest on the earth bear his name, though I believe the spelling used for the trees Sequoia. Either way, now at least we know how one language came into written form and how one tree got its name. Now…if we could just track down the word “cat,” though one look at my kitties and you can tell the derivation of the word “fat.”
Weather Bottom Line: The forecast looks pretty much on line. Most of the TV guys were claiming a high of 40 or 42 on Friday and I said it would be in the mid 30′s for a short time. Well, we get a split decision. We were at 36 at the airport for several hours with a brief high of 37. Much of the area was probably a degree or two colder. So, it was a longer period of above freezing than I said but not as warm as the tv foofs said. Who cares, right? No one really and it really doesn’t matter much unless you are a thermometer or have a bet or something.
Anyway, we have our southwesterly flow ahead of the next system. Temps will probably bottom out at 30 or so on Friday night before beginning to rise prior to sunrise on Saturday. The NAM insists on all snow but I find that hard to believe because it has surface temps at around 40 with snow. I think the GFS solution of rain turning to snow is a better solution. With the ground being a bit too warm to begin with, my guess is that the first part of the snow won’t really accumulate. Both models want to toss out about 2 inches but I suspect actual accumulations will be less. The GFS and to some degree the Euro and Canadian models want to continue with some flurries for the first part of Sunday. Don’t look for above freezing conditions until Tuesday afternoon. There is no data that suggests anything above freezing after around midday on Saturday. Now, the GFS, NAM and Canadian models do indicate a potential for some strong storms on Thursday. The ECMWF (european) is not too interested at this point with just some rain on Wednesday. We’ll have to see how it shakes out. We chill down a bit after Thursday but nothing to terribly cold is showing up at this point after this weekend.