Friday, July 11, 2008

On the Mark TWAIN!

As you might know, Samuel Clemens chose his pen name from his job as a steam boat captain, something that he did for four years.  He would ride from Hannibal, Missouri, down to Louisiana and spent a lot of time on the river, a main subject of his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  He took his name from a steam boat call that the crew would call out to let everyone know that the water was safe.  A mark was an actual knot made in the rope.  It was tied every six feet.  Twain actually means two.  So the twain mark was the second mark, which stood at six feet on the rope.  This meant that the water was safe to dock.  So Mark Twain sort of means safe water, like everything is smooth sailing, AOK.  

Hannibal offers all kinds of Mississippi River cruises and, of course, I went on one.  It was informative and relaxing, though the Mississippi was a bit cloudier than I expected!  I'm glad I could tread in Mark Twain's ship marks.  It also gave me a little clearer picture of Huck and Jim's adventure.  

1 comment:

Petey said...

I guess that "twain" actually means "six feet under." I don't know if that would be my choice of name!!