Discuss word origins and meanings.
Post Reply


Post by tony h » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:08 pm

I seem to be questioning my knowledge of words at the moment. This one is the term 101. I know it means "basic information" or "stuff you should know" but I didn't know why. There were plenty of books : 101 things to know about motor cars, 101 easy recipes, 101 rules for a happy marriage. But why was 101 the obvious number.

So I looked it up. It means : first lessons in … (the 101 has no quantitative value).

It turns out to be quite prosaic. From the OED: "In American university course numbering systems, the number 101 is often used for an introductory course at a beginner's level in a department's subject area. This common numbering system was designed to make transfer between colleges easier. In theory, any numbered course in one academic institution should bring a student to the same standard as a similarly numbered course at other institutions.[7] The term was first introduced by the University of Buffalo in 1929.[8]
Based on this usage, the term "101" has been extended to mean an introductory level of learning or a collection of introductory materials to a topic. "

Learning that 101 originated with the University of Buffalo , I was pleased to discover that Buffalo's gift to gastronomy is celebrated, albeit in Atlanta, with the Buffalo Wings 101 Special.
Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

Re: 101

Post by Phil White » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:53 pm

Nice one, Tony.
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Post Reply