Saturday, May 19, 2012

Signatures Under the Weather

Kelly Croff wrote, "I think you answered this before, but where did the term 'under the weather' come from? Also, I heard someone say that an autographed item was 'hand signed'. Is the any other way to sign things???

In centuries past, before people knew about germs and viruses, it was widely believed that bad weather directly caused illness. So people who were sick and blamed it on the weather would say that they were “under the weather,” meaning under the baleful influence of the weather.

Automated signing machines do a brisk business with politicians, businesses, organizations, and other activities that require hundreds or thousands of signatures daily. The machines cost a few thousand dollars, and most of them these days require a flash memory card or a smart card to store signatures, which provides a degree of security to the signer. Without the card, an unauthorized person cannot use the signature.

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition
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