Watch Your P’s and Q’s

I always thought the adage “watch your P’s and Q’s” had everything to do with letters. In the early days of printing the fact that the lowercase ‘q’ and ‘p’ were mirror images of each other would create mass confusion with early foundry type setters – or so I assumed. Turns out, supposedly, that the admonition was a phrase that originated in the world of beer. Rumor has it that brew pubs had to remind gluttonous patrons to keep track of their mead consumption. To assist in the task a chalkboard marking a customer’s ‘pints’ and ‘quarts’ drank was utilized. Interesting. I wonder which is the actual truth.