99.44% pure

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Dec 24 01:14:09 UTC 2006

At 7:07 PM -0500 12/23/06, Wilson Gray wrote:
>I haven't heard "eating a peck of dirt" before, but I have heard, only
>among black Texans, that "A little grit is good for the craw," with
>respect to picking up and eating food that's fallen to the floor.
I remember hearing it about the sand in one's steamed clams or mussels.

>For the record, grit eally is good for the craws of birds that have them.
>Isn't there also a saying used by Northern whites, WRT to the same
>subject, to the effect that, if dropped food is picked up off the
>floor within a certain brief span of time, it's okay to eat it?

Talk about synchronicity...tonight, my daughter, visiting from
college, dropped some food on the floor and invoked "the five second
rule".  She claims (I just asked her after reading Wilson's query) to
have heard this rule invoked at least once a month her whole life,
yet she grew up in my house and I'd never heard of this rule (with
any interval). Very strange.

(In my family, there was never any time limit on the edibility of
dropped food--or occasionally on that of spoiled food, but that's
another issue.)


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