Friday, September 5, 2008

Origin of "Viz."


The contraction "viz" is a curious instance of the universality of arbitrary signs. There are few writers who do not appreciate the fact that the little contraction may be used in "good form" writing of all kinds, but there are probably even fewer persons who have any idea of its origin. It is a corruption of the word videlicet, the terminal letter of which was formerly made in the shape of a "z," but was never intended to represent that letter, being simply used as a mark or sign of abbreviation. It is now always written and expressed as "z" and will doubtless continue to be so used as long as written language exists. It is, however, as we have said, one of the many arbitrary modes of expression used by the masses, who never give a thought as to their origin. — St. Louis Republic.

His Bad Habit.

"He is a fine young man," said Mabel's father. "I am surprised that you treat him so harshly."
"Perhaps you don't know him as well as I do, father?"
"I know him pretty well. He has no bad habits at all."
"He has one of which I disapprove very much."
"He has?"
"Yes; I can't break him of proposing to me." — Washington Star.

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