Captain Jack Sparrow Wins The Gold

Slip of paper, one side has "Robert Armstrong - Thursday" written on, with a bit of text cut off, the other side has this strange sentence:

The pirates frighten the farmers because they have javelins.

Found in "Gus The Great" by Thomas W. Duncan. Published by Lippincott, 1947.

My best guess? I think it might have been a writing exercise for school, either spelling or handwriting.


-Click to enlarge photos-

7 comments:

dulcigal said...

It's the cryptic things, like this, that make processing our library bookdrop so interesting!

Staff enjoy bookdrop duty because of the stuff we find in the books, like the note discovered within a long-overdue picture book, written by a child - "I'm sorry for returning this book." Ensuing discussion topic: did he leave out 'not' accidentally or was he just really sad that he had to finally bring it back?

Hnia said...

Interesting. Makes you think who wrote it and why.

Amy L. Campbell said...

Actually, it sounds like a mnemonic device, but I can't figure out what for. A quick Google search and this is the only reasonable thing I can connect it with... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontius_Pilate#Etymology_of_the_cognomen

Liz said...

It sounds like a Latin 1 sentence to me. All those words are pretty easy Latin vocabulary and I made my students translate sentences like that all the time.

mejaka said...

It also may be related to teaching or reinforcing alliteration and assonance. "Frighten the farmers" is an example of the first; "have javelins" of the second, and the recurring V sound makes it easier for young ears to hear. Although the Pilate link is intriguing, too, and that may have a connection to the Latin business (Pilate being Roman). Fun find!

Tricia said...

Pirates is an easy/common Latin I word? Clearly I studied the wrong language in school!

Martin, said...

My first thought was exactly what Liz said. Though I don't teach Latin, I learned at school and we were forever reading of farmers going to the woods, sailor chasing farmers, soldiers doing something or other. I have no specific recollection of pirates, but the feel of the phrase was right in the style of the Latin primer we used.

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