Best Footnote Ever

After 30 years as a professional writer in various contexts, always endeavoring to make life easier for readers, I admit to a devilish little laugh courtesy of the British science writer Jim Baggott. On page 37 of A Beginner’s Guide to Reality, he provides a long list of things that have been used as money by various cultures over the centuries. The list ends with ” . . . vodka, wampum, yarns and zappozats.5

Curious to know just what a zappozat is, I scanned down to the footnote, which reads as follows:

5. Look it up, like I had to.

This might be the influence of my bratty inner eight-year-old, but I found this to be exceedingly funny. (Baggott does credit the source he used for the list, Glyn Davies’ A History of Money, but defining “zappozat” is an exercise left to the reader.)


p.s. In case you’re curious, a zappozat is a type of


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