Early "mis[s]"(1652) as title?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Aug 31 11:46:48 UTC 2009

At 8/30/2009 01:36 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:

>On Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 12:28 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> > At 8/30/2009 11:19 AM, Mark Mandel wrote:
> > >Were abbreviations consistently marked with periods? If not, even the
> > >confirmed absence of a period wouldn't settle that part of the question.
> >
> > I don't know (but when were manuscript writers ever
> > consistent?  Especially in the 17th and 18th centuries).  However,
> > one of the 1606 quotations for "miss n.2" does use a period; the
> > other is terminated by a question mark, so we can't tell.  (I think
> > these 1606 quotations are the earliest in the OED entry.)
> >
>The ideal would be to see an image of the ms. itself. I wouldn't assume any
>kind of universal consistency, but one might hope for some consistency by a
>single writer in a single ms.

An interesting exercise.  The source is _Province and Court Records
of Maine_; I have no idea how many instances of "mis" and. "mis." one
might discover in the proceedings of the surrounding decade, or
half-century, or century.  (I did not read chronologically, just for
a small number of topics, via the index.)  Nor do I know how many
different court reporters transcribed the records in those periods.

I do not mean to disparage Mark's suggestion, since I too had noted
that looking at the specific ms. page for the 1652 quotation would
probably be necessary.  But only to suggest that the wider
examination would not be quick.


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