And “Trivia” Means “Three Roads”, You Know…

Q. What country, a constitutional democratic republic, allows all of its citizens over 18 to vote — except for those in a certain profession? And what’s the profession?

A. Guatemala has universal suffrage for adults over 18, except “active duty members of the armed forces may not vote and are restricted to their barracks on election day.”

Is that fascinating or what? G-d, I love The World Factbook.

Bonus Trivia: why is Switzerland’s Internet extension (and ISO 3166 abbreviation) “CH”? Because it’s Latin for Confoederatio Helvetica, or Swiss Confederation. The Latin designation was apparently chosen so as not to show preference amongst the official languages of German, French, Italian, Romansh. I did not know that!

3 Responses to “And “Trivia” Means “Three Roads”, You Know…”

  1. The Pursuing Mr. Pech Says:

    Dictionary.com is cool.

    triv·i·um
    n. pl. triv·i·a (–)

    The lower division of the seven liberal arts in medieval schools, consisting of grammar, logic, and rhetoric

    And why would they name a country after a font?

  2. jsp Says:

    So is Answers.com.

    “One variation dates to early Latin, from the prefix tri-, “three”, and via, “road”. Trivium thus meant “the meeting place of three roads, especially as a place of public resort.”

    Which do you reckon came first, medieval schools or Latin?

  3. The clarifying Mr. Pech Says:

    The egg came first.

    Actually my post wasn’t so much about which came first as it was about providing an explanation of how “three roads” comes to mean “useless facts”. I just found it fascinating how it all fits together. A part of schools consisting of 3 parts, hence 3 paths or 3 roads, and then the fact (trivium?) that it was the lowest of the divisions, and we end up with 3 roads meaning little bits of insignificant data.

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