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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Serendipity Sunday

Serendipity Sunday

Serendipity Sunday is an occasional event held from time to time (on a Sunday) when there is a large backlog of worthy Weblogs that ought to have received a Blog of the Day Award but have not. A large collection of random weblogs will be granted Blog of the Day Awards on Serendipity Sunday. We believe that by participating in Serendipity Sunday, you will discover many things that you were not seeking to discover.

Sunday is obvious and Serendipity is a word coined by Horace Walpole, January 28, 1754, in a letter to Horace Mann, the English resident in Florence.

Wiktionary defines it thusly:


serendipity (uncountable)

1. Making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things not in quest of.
2. Discovering something by accident while investigating something quite different. For example, finding a biological culture “ruined” by mould, and discovering the antibiotic penicillin as a consequence.
3. A fortunate occurrence created by unanticipated luck.

And gives this example:

“Call it a mid-life crisis; call it divine intervention or simply serendipity, but his employer, Matt Prentice, happened to know that at that moment over at the Scott Building there was a new kitchen just waiting for the right person to run it.” —Detroit News, October 7, 2005

And gives this origin:

“I once read a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of: for instance, one of them discovered that a mule blind of the right eye had travelled the same road lately, because the grass was eaten only on the left side, where it was worse than on the right—now do you understand serendipity? One of the most remarkable instances of this accidental sagacity (for you must observe that no discovery of a thing you are looking for, comes under this description) was of my Lord Shaftsbury, who happening to dine at Lord Chancellor Clarendon’s, found out the marriage of the Duke of York and Mrs. Hyde, by the respect with which her mother treated her at table.”
— as given by W.S. Lewis, ed., Horace Walpole’s Correspondence, Yale edition.

Serendipity Quotes

Serendipity is the art of making an unsought finding.
- Pek van Andel

Serendipity is looking in a haystack for a needle and discovering a farmer's daughter.
- Julius Comroe Jr.

Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.
- Lawrence Block

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