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Schott's Original Miscellanyby Ben Schott
The game of polo is divided into chukkas of seven and a half minutes. At the end of each chukka a bell is rung, and the play is extended for thirty seconds unless the ball goes out of play, or the umpire calls a foul. [The last chukka of a match stops after seven minutes with no additional time added.] Between each chukka there is a three-minute interval — extended to five minutes at half-time. A full match lasts for six chukkas, but sometimes four or eight are played by mutual agreement. If, at the end of the final chukka, the scores are tied, then an interval of five minutes is called, the distance between the goals is widened from eight to sixteen yards, and additional chukkas are played until the deciding goal is scored.
[The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of chukka as derived from the Hindustani chakar and the Sanskrit cakra meaning circle or wheel.]
A Certain Chinese Encyclopaedia
Although possibly an elaborate literary joke, one of the most curious lists is that quoted (and perhaps invented) by J.L. Borges. In one of his essays (made famous by Michel Foucault), Borges claims that Dr Franz Kuhn discovered 'a certain Chinese encyclopaedia' entitled Celestial Empire of Benevolent Knowledge, which stated that all animals can be classified thus:
[a] belonging to the Emperor
Famous Last Words
"Does nobody understand?"
Some Shakespearean Insults
You are not worth another word, else I'd call you Knave.
Why are thou then exasperate, thou idle immaterial skein of sleave-silk, thou green sarsenet flap for a sore eye, thou tassel of a prodigal's purse, thou? Ah, how the world is pestered with such waterflies, diminutives of nature.
Thou whoreson zed, thou unnecessary letter.
This woman's an easy glove, my Lord, she goes off and on at pleasure. You shew'd your teethes like Apes, and fawn'd like hounds and bow'd like Bondmen.
Like the toad, ugly and venemous.
You fat and greasy citizens.
Like a villaine with a smiling cheek, a goodly apple rotten at the heart.
You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate as reek o' th' rotten fens, whose loves I prize as the dead carcasses of unburied men that do corrupt my air.
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