Answers to: 
"Foot Notes: The Foot-Related Quiz"

1.  Those plastic things at the end of your shoelaces are called C: "Aglets".

2.  The foot-measuring device is known as a D: "Brannock Device"If you're interested, you can click on those words, and it'll take you to the website for the company that makes the devices, and you can read all sorts of information about them.  

3.  The answer is  C:  28.5.  The following is taken from the Guiness Book of World Records Website:  (You can go directly to that link by clicking on those words.) 

Says Guiness:  "If cases of elephantiasis are excluded, the biggest feet currently known are those of Matthew McGrory (b. May 17, 2021) of Pennsylvania, USA, who wears US size 28.5 shoes (UK size 28). Matthew McGrory’s accolade as the human being with the largest feet is an expensive title - a pair of shoes costs him up to US$22,745 (GBŁ15,435). Both his big toes are 12.7 cm. (5 in.) long and even his little toes measure 2.5 cm. (1 in.) in length. Matt towered over his friends at 2.235 m. (7 ft. 4 in.) in height, and weighed 104.5 kg. (280 lb.), in 1994, when his feet were last measured. The Florida giant once said, “People stare sometimes, but most are kind.”

4.  There is only one muscle that lies entirely on the top part of the foot.  It's known as the Extensor Digitorum Brevis muscle.   

5Strictly speaking, the answer is B: False.  The notion that a king from long ago (Henry I of England, 1068-1135)  gave us this measurement based on the size of his foot is an incorrect, but widely-held belief.  If you think about it, he'd have to have had mighty big feet for the 11th century.  

But it is true that Henry I was involved, because, as odd as it sounds, the measurement is standardized based on the length of his....arm !

Puzzled?  Well, the story goes like this:  Our using the word "foot" was actually devised from the Roman word for foot, "ped" or  "pes".  (Incidentally, this word, pes, is a commonly-used word for foot in medical jargon even now.  For example, any physician you would ask would describe the condition you would know as "flat foot" with the Latin words "Pes Planus".)  

In any event, the length of this measurement was probably, at one point, based on the size of a Roman's foot, but the unit of measurement was not standardized.  After all, people then, as now, had different sized feet.  In fact, the unit varied in size considerably over the centuries, ranging as high a value as 34 cm.  

This is where the king comes in.  If you know much about English history, you may recall that Henry I was the youngest son of William the Conqueror.  Both William and Henry were Normans, descendants of Vikings who settled in the Normandy region of northern France in the 800's.  Despite their heritage, the Normans had been in France for generations, and therefore had been speaking French for generations.   

So what does this have to do with the topic of the measurement known as a "foot"?  Well, when William and the Normans successfully conquered England in 1066, they brought with them the French language, (which was based on the Latin the ancient Romans spoke), as well as their units of measurement, (which were also based on Roman units of measurement).   

Thus, the unit of distance used in England from that point on was the foot (in Latin "pes" or "ped", and in French, "pied").  Before the Normans, the unit of measurement we know as "foot" was not used in England (this, according to Oxford English Dictionary).  

As king, Henry decided it was his right to standardize the unit of measurement, but instead of choosing his foot as the standard length, for some reason he chose 1/3 of his arm's length to be that standard measurement.  Hence, the unit "foot" inherited from ancient Rome was later standardized based on 1/3 the length of Henry I's arm

Of course, with time, the Norman kings of England adopted the English language as their own, just as they had adopted French in their time in Normandy.  And at some point, their French word for foot, "pied", was translated directly into English as "foot", with the standardized measurement still intact.  

6.  A.  A break and a fracture mean the same thing.  

7.  D.  Of the 206 bones in the body, there are typically 56 in your feet--28 in each)--though the number can vary.  This means that one out of every four bones in your body lies in your feet! 






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The Achilles Foot Health Centre
S. A. Schumacher, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S., F.A.C.F.A.O.M.  
Dr. S. A. Schumacher, Podiatric Corporation  

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