Hobbesian choice

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Jan 29 18:34:33 UTC 2005

Here's my third contribution to "you/thou" studies.  The OED's quote appears in an earlier form in the first printing:

1660 S. Fisher Rusticus ad academicos in exercitationibus expostulatoriis 88: He must needs have the worst or neither: such choice (as the Proverb is) is no other then Hobson's choice, which is, chuse whether thou wilt have this or none.

Something big was evidently shakin' between 1660 and '79.


"Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Arnold M. Zwicky"
Subject: Re: Hobbesian choice

On Jan 28, 2005, at 12:40 PM, I wrote:

> At this point, though, "Hobbesian choice" hadn't been tracked back very
> far, though the reference to Hobson, a much less well-known person than
> Hobbes, pretty much has to date back to the actual Hobson's lifetime
> (c. 1544-1631, overlapping with Hobbes's, 1588-1679). So I was still
> suspicious that Hobbes's name and ideas had gotten grafted onto
> Hobson's...

OED online has no entry for "Hobbesian choice". The first cite for
"Hobson's choice" is from 1660:
S. FISHER Rusticks Alarm Wks. (1679) 128 If in this Case there be no
other (as the Proverb is) then Hobson's choice..which is, chuse whether
you will have this or none.


Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

More information about the Ads-l mailing list