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Historical Word of the Day: Berties

By: Jim

The things stored in the dark recesses of the entity formerly known as my mind never cease to amaze, amuse, and occasionally terrify me. A few nights ago, the word "Bertie" bubbled up from the tar-pit depths and like a tired swimmer, did the dead man's float on the thin film of my memory, going willy-nilly this way and that in the weak tide of brain waves.

"Bertie," in the connotation in which I remember it, made a spontaneous appearance in 1960 or '61, early in the administration of Governor Bert T. Combs. It was the humorous if somewhat less than complimentary reference to Kentucky's first sales tax -- a whopping three percent -- he pushed through the legislature. "Don't forget the Berties!" quickly became a common reminder to ante up the additional pennies when making for a purchase.

I hardly can wait for tomorrow's "word of the day."

This story was posted on 2015-01-18 11:17:52
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