Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Posts Tagged ‘2010’

Catfishing

Posted by Admin on July 2, 2015

Catfishing is when someone creates a false online identity for the express purposes of luring someone into a romantic relationship.

The term was used in the 2010 pseudo-documentary, “Catfish.”  It chronicles the story of Nev Schulman who met a woman on Facebook and a romantic relationship developed between them.  She led him to believe that she was young and available. He tracks her down in real life and finds out that she’s in her forties and married.

In this pseudo-documentary, a fake story is included from the early 1900s that states that catfish are the natural enemy of cod, and that fishermen shipping live cod from Alaska to China used to throw catfish into the barrels along with the cod to keep the cod active.  In keeping the cod active (as they allegedly swam for their lives in the barrel) this made the cod flesh firm and tasty instead of mushy.

This is an urban myth.

Firstly, seals, and not catfish, are enemies of cod.  Secondly, while transporting the cod from Alaska to China, the cod would need to be fed to stay alive while the catfish would supposedly have an endless supply of food thanks to the cod in the barrels with them.  Upon arrival, how many cod would still be alive and thriving in those barrels?  Thirdly, saltwater catfish are scavengers which excludes cod as their prey.

The urban myth, however, arises from a short story “The Catfish” by British war correspondent, campaigning journalist, political commentator, and suffragist Henry W. Nevinson (11 October 1856 – 9 November 1941) in his book “Essays In Rebellion” published in 1913.  Near the end of the story — which reads more like a sermon than a short story — the author wrote this:

At present in this country, for instance, and, indeed, in the whole world, there seem to be more catfish than cod, and the resulting liveliness is perhaps a little excessive, a little “jumpy.”

All that aside, the title of the pseudo-documentary “Catfish” stuck with popular culture, and the subject of the pseudo-documentary took on the title.

As an interesting side note, however, there have been bait-and-switch situations involving catfish, that harken to the spirit of the catfishing, and that have nothing to do with the pseudo-documentary.  This includes, but isn’t limited to, the investigation reported in the Boston Globe newspaper in 2011.  At restaurants and in fresh fish markets there was a hoax of another color (pardon the reworked idiom)!  Flounder fillet, which was priced at $23 per pound, turned out to be a Vietnamese catfish, priced at $4 per pound, and known as the nutritionally inferior swai.

When you reflect on the fact that catfish are typically bottom-feeder, the description is particularly apt in many respects.  After all, only a low-life bottom-feeder would lure someone into a relationships by means of a fictional online persona, right?

What this proves is that some idioms like catfishing have very abbreviated histories that date back a few short years.  In this case, catfishing dates back to 2010 and no further.

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WordPress Reviews Idiomation’s First Year

Posted by Admin on January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010 — Idiomation‘s first year in existence — and here’s a summary of this site’s overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter reads This blog is doing awesome!

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747 400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

Started on January 20th, there were 219 new posts; not bad for the first year!

The most popular post was She’s A Pip.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, en.search.wordpress.com, twitter.com, and alphainventions.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for never cast a clout till may is out, she’s a pip, absence makes the heart grow fonder shakespeare, never cast a clout, and wewoka switch.

Attractions in 2010

Thanks to WordPress and our readers for supporting the Idiomation blog site.  And to end off this blog entry, here are the top 5 posts and pages of 2010!

1

She’s A Pip July 2010

2

Never Cast A Clout Until May Is Out March 2010

3

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder March 2010

4

Friends of Idiomation March 2010

5

I Brook No Truck With You July 2010

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