Monday, November 17, 2008
“Is it Pall Mall as in HAL or Pall Mall as in Ball?” said Lucy, reading the card.
“The former.” Harold looked up from counting his money.
“Then why has it two ‘l’s instead of just the one?”
“That’s and interesting question,” said Harold, always keen to show off his knowledge. “The name is derived from a seventeenth century game where a wooden ball is driven through a suspended iron hoop. Pall Mall, from the Latin pallamaglio - palla meaning ball and maglio meaning mallet.” Harold coughed. “The London street was formerly a pall-mall alley and thus became shortened to Pall Mall, as in HAL.”
“That’s fascinating, dad,” said Lucy, “especially since you’ve landed on my hotel there. That’ll be seven hundred and fifty pounds, please.”