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Mail Box: Just Ask...

QWHERE did the saying ``mind your Ps and Qs'' come from? B. Bowie, Dumfries.

AONE explanation is that it's a childish abbreviation for ``pleases'' and ``thank-yous''. Another comes from the world of printing. Typesetters used blocks of type that were mirror images of letters, so it would be easy to mix up lower case p and q. Lastly, old pubs served beer in pints and quarts. Bar staff tracked patrons' drinking totals by marking P for pints and Q for quarts so they knew what the final bill would be.

QWHY are derby matches so called? P. Inglis, Glasgow.

ATHE term seems to have originated in the town of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England, where two teams from opposite ends of the town played a football/rugby style of game. The object was to get a ball into the opposition's goal by fair means or foul. It is now taken to mean a match between rival local clubs.

QWHAT was Elvis Presley's first film? L. Rutherford, Dundee.

AIT was Love Me Tender, made in 1956, which told the tale of twobrothers who fall in love with the same woman.

QIS it true some black bear species are actually white? G. Donaldson, Perth. ABIZARRELY, yes. The Kermode, or Spirit bear, lives on Princess Royal Island off the west coast of Canada. It has a unique recessive gene which produces white hair instead of black.

QWHO had the first star on the Hollywood Walk

of Fame? F. Grant, Edinburgh.

AACTRESS Joanne Woodward, wife of Paul Newman, had the first star dedicated to her on February 9, 1960.

QA BOOKWORM pal of mine claims that author Roald Dahl used to write all his books in his garden shed. Is this true? H. Docherty, Edinburgh.

AYES. Dahl worked in a grotty old hut in his back garden, sitting in a wingback chair with asleeping bag around him to keep out the cold.

QIS it true that Sir Paul McCartney once produced a record for the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band? B. White, East Kilbride. AYES. He worked on the band's most successful single, I'm The Urban Spaceman, and was credited under the name Apollo C. Vermouth.

QIS a roadrunner a real bird? J. Dodd, Falkirk.

AYES, it is a type of cuckoo which lives in sparse land or deserts in Mexico and southwestern America.

QWHO invented the CD? L. Ashmead, Dundee.

AJAMES RUSSELL, a scientist from Washington, who came up with the idea in 1970. He was a keen music fan who was fed up with wear and tear on his record collection. James also wanted a better quality sound system and decided to develop his own. He invented a way of storing information in light and dark forms on disc.

When a laser is shone on it, the reflection produces an electronic signal. This, in turn, is converted into sound or light.


Romantic: Elvis Presley; Shed light: Roald Dahl
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 7, 2003
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