"Miss Television" in 1933 (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Thu Nov 29 15:04:22 UTC 2007

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Google Books returns a 1930 hit for the phrase "Miss Television".  As
always, it's hard to confirm a
date there (the cite is from "The Century Monthly Magazine"), but
searching within the volume for
"1929" and "1930" returns hits, and "1931" and "1932" do not, so I'm
inclined to believe that it's

Perhaps "Miss Television" had particular meaning back then.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society
> [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Laurence Horn
> Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 7:34 PM
> Subject: "Miss Television" in 1933
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      "Miss Television" in 1933
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> -----------------
> OK, there are cites in the OED for "television", both as an
> imagined future device (dating back to a Scientific American
> reference in 1907 to a review of steps toward "the solution
> of the problem of
> television") and as an actual means of broadcasting signals
> or the service providing the transmission of those signals,
> dating back to these two cites--
> 1930 N. COWARD Private Lives II. 49 Aeroplanes..and Cosmic
> Atoms, and Television. 1938 Observer 26 June 12/6, I reviewed
> this film three weeks ago when I saw it on television.
> But it was still somewhat startling to catch this passage
> from Fitzgerald's _Tender is the Night_ (1933, p. 104 of the
> Scribner's paperback).  Context: Dick Diver, married to a
> beautiful woman but tempted by another one, the 18-year-old
> ingenue movie actress Rosemary, has just been admitted to the
> latter's Paris hotel room...
> =======
>     Dick saw her with an inevitable sense of disappointment.
> It took him a moment to respond to the unguarded sweetness of
> her smile, her body calculated within a millimeter to suggest
> a bud yet guarantee a flower. He was conscious of the print
> of her wet foot on a rug through the bathroom door.
>     "Miss Television" he said with a lightness he did not feel.
> =======
> The allusion just struck me as anachronistic, given what I've
> always assumed about the availability of television
> broadcasts in the pre-WWII era, but since the book was
> *published* (and not just set) in 1933, it obviously can't have been.
> (I caught this passage while listening on audiotape and I had
> to rewind and relisten to make sure it said what it said
> before checking the print version.)
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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