when "intercourse" got funny

hpst@earthlink.net hpst at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Sep 29 14:32:00 UTC 2006

Does anyone except me remember the old gag about the name for communication
systems in outer space?

According to the gag they were called high diddle diddle, ie. intercourse
in outer space.

Since I learned this joke from a friend of mine who had flown B-17s in WWII
it might even go back to that era.

Page Stephens

> [Original Message]
> From: Joel S. Berson <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Date: 9/29/2006 8:39:53 AM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] when "intercourse" got funny
> At 9/29/2006 08:25 AM, JL wrote:
> >Wikipedia relates that Intercourse, PA, didn't receive its current
> >name till 1814.
> >
> >   For decades before that, it was "Cross Keys."
> >
> >   So, if Wiki is correct, "intercourse"  still must have been very
> > unfunny in 1814.  At least to villagers in rural Pennsylvania.
> >
> >   People's minds have been provably in the gutter at least since
> > Aristophanes (fl. 410 B.C.).  The present investigation seeks to
> > discover when they dragged "intercourse" down with them.
> Some time after 1850.  I've just met it several times in "The Scarlet
> Letter;" for example (and there are others):
> "In all her intercourse with society, however, there was nothing that
> made her feel as if she belonged to it."
> "After the incident last described, the intercourse between the
> clergyman and the physician, though externally the same, was
> really of another character than it had previously been."
> There is also "social intercourse":  "How soon--with what strange
> rapidity, indeed did Pearl arrive at an age that was capable of
> social intercourse beyond the mother's ever-ready smile and
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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