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ff (formerly the Stubbins ffirth thread)

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257881.  Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:24 pm Reply with quote

Stubbins Ffirth (1784–1820) was an American trainee doctor notable for his unusual investigations into the cause of yellow fever. He theorized that the disease was not contagious, believing that the drop in cases during winter showed that it was more likely a result of the heat and stresses of the summer months. While correct in noting that yellow fever was significantly more prevalent in summer, Ffirth's explanation proved to be incorrect. It was a full six decades after his death that a breakthrough would be made, with Cuban scientist Carlos Finlay discovering the link to mosquitoes carrying the disease between the infected.

Ffirth set out to prove his theory by bringing himself into direct contact with the disease in the form of bodily fluids from those that has become infected. He started to make incisions on his arms and smeared vomit into the cuts, then proceeded to pour it onto his eyeballs. He continued to try and infect himself using vomit by frying it and inhaling the fumes and, when he still did not become sick, drank it undiluted. Progressing on from vomit, Ffirth smeared his body with blood, saliva, and urine, yet still managed to avoid contracting the disease. The samples Ffirth had used for his experiments came from late-stage patients who were no longer contagious.

257923.  Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:59 pm Reply with quote

That's great, VR. I wonder if there's enough scope to do one show in the F Series which is themed around things / people who start with ff? Anyone got any other ideas?

257961.  Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:38 pm Reply with quote

There are the surnames that begin (uncapitalised) "ff", for example...


Sir Arthur Frederic Brownlow fforde, GBE, (23 August 1900 – 1985) was a solicitor, civil servant, headmaster, writer and businessman. The surname fforde is spelled with two lowercase f's.

Arthur fforde was educated at Rugby School (SH 1914-1919, Head of School) and Trinity College, Oxford University. As a solicitor, fforde entered a partnership with law firm Linklaters & Paines (Now known as Linklaters & Alliance) and also had helped establish the Unit Trust. fforde returned to Rugby in 1948 as headmaster until 1957. In 1957 fforde became Chairman of the BBC. In 1964 he left after a spell of ill-health but was awarded the GBE the same year.

Occasional verses by Arthur fforde were published later in his life before his death in 1985.
Arthur fforde

Whether there are any (other) QI people with such surnames I couldn't say.

257966.  Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:44 pm Reply with quote

The most famous bearer of an ff-name is probably the South African theologian and anti-apartheid hero, The Very Reverend Gonville Aubie ffrench-Beytagh (1912-1991), the Dean of Johannesburg. (I believe the second element is pronounced "beater".) (no wiki article)

257975.  Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:51 pm Reply with quote

Hmm, the only double f I know of is Jasper Fforde, a brilliantly funny author whose work won the Wodehouse Prize in 2004, but he capitalizes his last name...

Last edited by Sobriquet on Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

257982.  Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:08 pm Reply with quote

He does. And strictly speaking, to do so is wrong for reasons explained in post 239857.

I'd not heard of her, but husband has come up with a woman actor named Gwen ffrangçon-Davies. Which is a rather marvelous name, at least.

258029.  Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:24 pm Reply with quote

Galway city boasts two ff-families among its 15 "Tribes" (historic ruling families): ffrench and ffont. They would have been of Norman or Norman-Welsh descent.

258062.  Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:59 am Reply with quote

I'm re-naming this thread "ff" in the hope that it attracts more relevant material.

258064.  Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:04 am Reply with quote

A double F (FF) bra size indicates that there is an 8 inch difference between the the bust and the underbust measurement.

258065.  Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:07 am Reply with quote

In musical notation, ff = fortissimo, ie very loud.

258066.  Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:09 am Reply with quote

On a VCR it means Fast Forward.

258068.  Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:14 am Reply with quote

When I was a youngster travelling around on the backpack trail, you used to encounter people called Flirty Fishers who were Christians (the ones I encountered were with a group called the Children of God, but maybe there were others) who would pick you up and suggest that you might like to go round the back for a bit of ... a prayer meeting. I don't recall that they were ever abbreviated to FFs, but I guess they could have been.

258119.  Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:09 am Reply with quote

There was a singer named David ffrangcon-Davies (1855-1918) about whom I can find almost nothing apart from the fact he was a friend of Edward Elgar and he once wrote a book. His daughter, Marjorie, wrote a biography of him in 1938 entitled "David ffrangcon-Davies: His life and book"

I wonder if he's any relation to actress Gwen mentioned by suze.

258161.  Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:54 am Reply with quote

This is the crest of the Ffolliott ffamily, supposedly:

Not that that's at all interesting, except that they do seem rather prolix with their consonants in that family.

258173.  Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:12 am Reply with quote

FF is the abbreviation for Final Fantasy, which is a game my son plays.


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