a save

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Apr 30 18:00:21 UTC 2008

heard on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac today (4/30/08), about
Alice B. Toklas:

... there [in Paris] she met Gertrude Stein, whose lover she became,
and whose companion.

well, i don't think that works in writing, but in speech, as a way of
folding in something that should have gone earlier, this doesn't sound
half bad.

i went to the text version -- both audio and text are available at


and discovered a grossly different story, different not only in
wording but also in the details that are included.  the content of the
sentence above is (roughly) conveyed in the text as follows:

In 1907, she went to Paris and there she met Stein, whom Toklas
described as wearing "a large, round coral brooch...

...The two became lovers and on a trip to Tuscany a few years later,
Stein proposed to Toklas.

Keillor was pretty clearly not reading a prepared text, but speaking
extemporaneously (as he does in his famous monologues on Prairie Home
Companion), from notes about relevant facts.  i wonder who created the
text that's on the website, and when.


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

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