Author Archives: Mark Winn

Belief – Kansas City, Missouri

Original script/version:

You only use 10% percent of your brain.

James heard this folklore last year from his uncle who also lives in Kansas city. The topic came up as they were talking about James ability to study of the SAT. His uncle, Sam Meiners, told him this as a factual statement.

James said he also heard this same folklore when he was in fifth grade. It seemed to be a rumor that was going through the school at the time. He did believe it when he heard because he felt it would account for why some people are a lot smart than others, because somehow they had figured out how to use more of their brain. However, it wasn’t until he talked to one of his high school teachers that he found out that it was in fact a myth and not actually a fact.

Folklore about the body seems to be more popular with younger children as they haven’t had the same education about biology that adults have had. For this reason, they make up answers for some of the bodies more confusing attributes – like why there is such a great range of how smart people are.

For reference in text, see:

James, William. The Energies of Men. New York: Moffat, Yard and Co., 1907. Pg 12.


Original script/version:

“Give an inch, and i’ll take a mile.”

James said he heard this quote from his high school Lacrosse coach. While at practice in his sophomore year, his coach was giving a talk on defensive positions when the phrase came up, “If you give an inch, I’ll take a mile.” In this context, he was referring to if you were even a little weak on defense, the offense would take advantage and attack even harder.

James thought this was an insightful proverb that could be a lot more effectively to everyday life than lacrosse. He said, “I was on the debate team in high school, I am surprised I never heard this throughout the course of being on the team. It is so true in debate. If you give even a little ground on your argument, your opponent will see it as a weakness and focus on that.”

I think it is obvious that this proverb has nothing to do with inches and miles, but the comparison of something big and something small. The proverb seems to most applicable to arguing or trading. For example, if in an argument, and one person admits to that there might be slightest truth in what the other person is claiming, their opponent gains a lot of credibility and will continue arguing with a new sense of power.


Original script/version:

“I was told that gargling salt water when you have a sore throat will help it feel better and heal sooner.”

When I asked Holly where she heard this, she said she had heard it from her 7th grade P.E. teacher who was originally from Great Britain. She had a really bad sore throat and when she asked to sit down during class, the teacher gave this advice. She has continued to gargle salt water when she has a cold ever since.

Holly was born and raised in rural Oregon, but she said that this piece of folk medicine originally came from somewhere in northern England. I think putting salt on an open wound hurts badly but also cleans it. I don’t how this would translate to a sore throat, my initial reaction would say it wouldn’t help, but I have never tried it.

Lullaby – Swiss

Original script/version:

Latvian Lullaby

Aija zuzu / laca berni

Pekainam(i) / kajinam(i)

Tevs aizgaia / bisu kapt(i)

Tevs parnesa / medus poudu,

Mate – uogu / vaceliti

Tas mazam(i) / berninam(i)

Par mierigu / gulesanu


Lully, lully, / getting sleepy,

Tiny wee(ee) / baby bear(ie)!

While daddikins / looks for honey,

Mummy hunts for raspberries (ie)

And daddikins / will bring honey,

And your mummy / will bring berries

For darling (ie) / babykins (ie)

Sweet, sweet, sweetly / getting sleepy.

“”My brothers and I all grew up hearing the same Latvian lullaby every night before we went to bed; it is called “Aija Zuzu” It’s about a little bear cub and his parents. Every Latvian kid in my family(immediate and extended) heard that song every night before they went to bed.  I’ll probably sing it to my kids when I get old.””–   -Kate

This is a neat, if incomplete, Latvian lullaby. This is all Kate could remember, and with the help of the internet, we pieced together the translation. This is only the first verse, so there are 2-3 verses missing.

The main theme in this portion of the lullaby is the parents supporting their child. The parents get food for the baby while it sleeps. This seems an appropriate theme for a child’s bedtime song. The use of “Daddikins” because in American culture, you don’t hear that used often.

For further reference in texts, see:

Leonovich, Mikhail. A History of European Versification. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Pg. 12.

Archivist Additional Annotation (April 27, 2020):