What does that mean?

I was always intrigued to hear varied uses of the English language during my travelling days. To hear in India that “the miscreant was absconding” translated into my British “the suspect ran away.”

Even now I notice differences: in UK we talk of New Year. My US friends say, “New Year’s.” I assume there’s an apostrophe there as they shorten New Year’s Day or Eve.

Then I came across so many web site articles headed “this 101” or “that 101.” Wikipedia has the answer:

In American university course numbering systems, the number 101 is often used for an introductory course at a beginner’s level in a department’s subject area. This common numbering system was designed to make transfer between colleges easier. In theory, any numbered course in one academic institution should bring a student to the same standard as a similarly numbered course at other institutions.

Based on this usage, the term has been extended to mean an introductory level of learning or a collection of introductory materials to a topic.

I love how language lives.

11 January, 2017