Today's thing I never knew, from Jan Freeman's column on euphemisms in the Boston Globe's Ideas section:
Our rooster and weather vane date from the 19th century, when cock became too vivid for polite American discourse. (So strong was the taboo that Bronson Alcocke, father of Louisa May, changed the family name to Alcott.)
If only Harry Baals had this foresight, he'd have a building named after him by now. From ABC News:
When [Fort Wayne] invited people to suggest names for a new government center, thounsands went online to propose naming it after a longtime mayor from the 1930s and '40s.
The hitch? The city is — perhaps understandably — reluctant to honor the overwhelming winner. Officials confirmed to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette this week that they would not, in fact, be christening the building the "Harry Baals Government Center," even though Baals' name received more than 10,000 votes. (The second runner-up didn't even crack 600.)