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Annotations and comments

Todd Bernhardt has posted 946 annotations/comments since 8 January 2003.


First Reading

About Claire Tomalin answers questions

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Font size

Phil, I'd bet this has to do with the default size picked in IE, and the adjustments you made a while back. The Pepys site looks great when the font size is set to medium, the IE default, but because I (and, I suspect, other people) usually work with a relatively high resolution setting (anywhere from 1024x768 to 1600x1200), I usually change the IE font-size default to Smaller, which makes the Pepys site (and your test site, which you refer us to above) too small.

Parenthetically yours, etc.

About Tuesday 6 March 1659/60

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "of which I was ashamed"

I think Sam's shame has to do with his attitude toward Mrs. Jem -- who, we should remember is in her early teens -- and drinking. There was an earlier entry (sorry, I should link to it here, but need to run to a meeting and don't have time to hunt it down) where he admitted feeling troubled about her drinking what was, in his opinion, too much wine ... so I think Sam's protective nature is being expressed here.

Thanks, Mary, for pointing out the scanning error.

About Saturday 3 March 1659/60

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Re: Commissioner’s despatch

The confusion is understandable, Pauline. I read this the same way as Grahamt, and assumed that “Commissioner” was used in the same way as “pensioner” is used to describe someone who gets a pension. So, Sam would make sure that Monty gets the dispatch confirming his commission.

Thanks to all for the amusing and repulsive responses on the sheep’s head! And so to lunch…

About Monday 5 March 1659/60

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Whose "Great hopes of the King's coming again"?

Re: Martin's comment above, I didn't read this phrase as expressing Sam's hopes, but rather as expressing the general feeling among the people around him and in the city. Sam hasn't been shy in the past about ascribing certain annoyances, joys or other feelings to himself, so the lack of "I have" at the beginning of this sentence leads me to believe that it's a description of general sentiment, not a personal one.

Thanks to Hhomeboy and Steve H for the background info, as Nix says, this helps further understanding on a variety of levels...

About Friday 2 March 1659/60

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Thanks for the "People" entries, David!

They're proving an invaluable reminder for me (and others, I'm sure) of the various roles of the many players in this great drama.

About Monday 13 February 1659/60

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

That's not surprising, given the cost of those books!

Compare them to Sam's overall salary of £50, and they’re pretty darn expensive. Sam obviously loved his books.

About The new Background Info section

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Great work, Phil!

Now, to take some pressure off our esteemed moderator, my suggestion is that those of us with the time and inclination should "populate" the categories with appropriate information, whether we supply it or not (of course, if it's not from us, then we should give proper attribution). I've just kicked in by giving Grahamt's good overview of currency units, which he originally added to the annotations back on Feb. 4, and will look through the annotations and add more to the categories as I get the time and opportunity.

It being Valentine's Day, let's show our regard for Phil and pitch in!

About Currency units

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Here's a good overview, from Grahamt's annotation on 4 Feb. 1660 (http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1… ):
The basic units were l.s.d or pounds, shillings and pence, but named coins of other denominations were common, e.g. a groat (until 1662)
4 farthings = 1d (penny)
4d = 1 groat
12d = 3 groats = 1s (shilling)
5s = 1 crown (half-a-crown = 2s 6d)
20s = 4 crowns = 1l or

About More background reading pages?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

I think you're on the right track, Phil.

Using the background pages as "a beginner's resource" (to paraphrase Roger), where beginners can easily find the answers to frequently asked questions, and making access to these pages easier by posting the links under the footnotes would IMO help a lot. I also think some judicious editing of annotations on the background pages, as you describe, would also be perfectly appropriate.

About Monday 6 February 1659/60

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Why S for dollar?

That's interesting, Language Hat (and others) ... I'd always heard that the $ sign originally came from the juxtaposition (and, eventually, superimposition) of U and S ... knock the bottom out of the U, leaving only its ascenders, and you end up with a dollar sign.

About More background reading pages?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

A simple solution?

Talk of various areas for different types of discussions and posts seems needlessly complex to me and, as others have pointed out, could take away a lot of the charm and value of the interaction that we currently have going.

I propose a simple solution: Create a FAQ section. The section would have various headers (such as Money, Dress, Politics, etc.), and the answers (such as the breakdown of monetary units) would reside on a page that you'd get to by clicking on the appropriate FAQ header.

Then, you simply have a reminder above the "Annotate this entry" area to first check the FAQ to see if your question's already been answered.

I think Eric's suggestion to call the annotations "Readers' Annotations" is a good one, as is Kevin's suggestion to create a process to "promote" an annotation to a permanent entry as a FAQ.

Of course, this would require someone to compile and post the FAQs ... sorry, Phil. Maybe, to take some pressure off you, you'd want to share this duty?

About New Recent Annotations page format

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Definite improvement!

I also noticed the change before going to this page, since the Recent Annotations page is one of the first I go to, to catch up. You've chosen a very efficient way of showing what days have been changed, without listing every single change.

You rawk, Philip!

About Saturday 4 February 1659/60

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Headless Chickens

David Q, you've posted a lot of good info and links here ... now, it's time for me to return the favor.

You say: "Human bodies can also twitch after death, but something about birds gives them a longer or more common 'twilight' period."

Apparently, it's something to do with the the fact that the brain stem extends a bit down a bird's neck ... in other words, cutting off the head does not necessarily remove all of the brain from a chicken's body.

And *sometimes*, cutting the head off makes no difference at all, as those of us familiar with the story of "Mike the Headless Chicken" no doubt know:

Aren't you glad you know that? :^)

About Friday 3 February 1659/60

Todd_Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Web filters

Mark, that's too funny ... I also mostly read the diary from work, and we also have a Big Brother filter working away in the background ... but so far I've been able to reach this site, no problem. However, I do have friends to whom I've recommended the site, and they've had the same problem as you.

No doubt your autocratic managers are afraid that, once Sam lifts the skirts of the the monarchy and demonstrates that they put on their pantaloons one leg at a time just like the rest of us, you'll no longer hold management in the awe that you currently do ... as we ALL do, right, folks? Uh, people...?

About Thursday 2 February 1659/60

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: mini-bales of hay...

Hilarious! If only we in the U.S. could be as sure of the contents of a NYC hack's glove compartment ... plenty of "HEY!!" abounds in that environment, but not much hay...

Sounds like it'll be interesting the next time Pepys meets up with "Cropp, my waterman and one of great practice, [who] was one that did cheat them thus."

About Improvements to the site

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link


The search tool is a great idea, I'm sure it'll be very useful. And thanks for expanding the number of recent annotations, as well as for the other work you've done. Somewhere, if it's possible, Samuel Pepys is very happy...