Tuesday, November 06, 2018


Knives in School

"London violent crime could take 'a generation' to solve," BBC News (November 5, 2018):
The mayor said children as young as primary school age are now carrying knives and warned it could take "a generation" to solve the problem.

He added: "They saw in Scotland what we're seeing in London which is children in primary school thinking not only is it OK to carry a knife, but it gives them a sense of belonging..."
I carried a knife (a Cub Scout jackknife) to primary school, and so did almost all of my male classmates. We used the knives outdoors during recess, to play mumblety-peg. No one ever stabbed anyone else or cut himself. Our only fights were with fists.

On mumblety-peg, see D.C. Beard, The American Boy's Book of Sport: Outdoor Games for All Seasons (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1896), pp. 350-354 (where it is called mumbly peg). We played it, of course, only when the ground was unfrozen.

Some mumblety-peg knife-holds (Beard, p. 351):

We didn't learn to play mumblety-peg out of a book, but I remember these two particular knife-holds very well.

Winslow Homer, The Whittling Boy

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