Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Aug 16 01:04:56 UTC 2009

At 6:52 PM -0400 8/15/09, Sam Clements wrote:
>Some obscure researcher named Jon Lighter seems to have that from 1887, in
>Why the OED can't make this a separate word listing, I can't understand.
>Of course, Jesse, who obviously either has (1) no life or (2) has a cell
>phone which mimics the "bat signal," and he magically appears here when
>anything concerning OED appears.  :)
>Sam Clements

He also (magically or not) appeared in Ammon Shea's entertaining "On
Language" column in today's, or rather tomorrow's, NYT Magazine.
I've heard Shea speak and was put off by him, but I quite enjoyed his
piece on "dated definitions: the quirky charm (and sad passing) of
archaic dictionary entries".  I can't post the link here since it
hasn't gone online yet.


>----- Original Message -----
>From: "George Thompson" <george.thompson at NYU.EDU>
>Sent: Saturday, August 15, 2009 18:26
>Subject: jackpot
>>The current issue of Bloodhorse, a magazine devoted to thoroughbred
>>racing, in its on-line form (bloodhorse.com) has an article on Bob
>>Baffert, a trainer who has just been inducted into the sport's Hall of
>>Fame.  He had begun his career in quarter-horse racing, and credits the
>>experience with his later success with thoroughbreds.
>>"It was a lot of trial and error-mostly error," he noted. "You had to get
>>to the point where you could fix problems. There was no medication. You
>>used Absorbine and alcohol and rubbed those legs until the filling was
>>gone. I'd rub for hours and get those legs tight while my dad sat on a
>>bucket watching. I've seen every jackpot a horse can get himself into, and
>>when a problem comes up today, I remember a horse having had it in the
>>past and remember some off-the-wall remedy I learned working on those
>>Quarter Horses."
>>This sense of "jackpot" isn't in the OED; oddly, though, among its array
>>of quotations illustrating the sense of "prize", are two that certainly
>>seem to really illustrate Baffert's meaning: "problem".
>>1959 Maclean's Mag. 4 July 34/3 Canada House receives SOS messages from
>>'distressed Canadians', the official designation for those who get
>>themselves into various jackpots.
>>[1962 Sunday Times Suppl. 10 June 10 There is always the chance that one
>>or other number or artist will hit the jackpot.]
>>1963 Listener 28 Mar. 568/3 Cabinet Ministers are hauled out in front of
>>the cameras and asked increasingly impertinent leading questions. A week
>>or two ago Mr. Butler copped one of these jackpots from Robert Mackenzie:
>>did he, or did he not, want to be Prime Minister?
>>George A. Thompson
>>Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
>>Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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