"the apocryphal HDAS III"

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 5 03:35:32 UTC 2010

The YBQ entry is readable by following the link below:

The version stating that "Ninety percent of everything is crud"
appeared in March 1958 in Venture Science Fiction. Other versions are
described including one that begins "Ninety percent of science fiction
is crud. But then ninety percent of everything is crud, and ..."



On Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 11:24 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "the apocryphal HDAS III"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 11:12 PM -0400 8/4/10, Sam Clements wrote:
>>What Sturgeon actually said, accordint to Fred Shapiro's wonderful,
>>ground-breaking tome, is
>>"Ninety percent of Science Fiction is Crud."
> But isn't that just a concession that leads up to the punchline which
> is indeed "Ninety percent of everything is crud" (standing in for
> "crap")?
> LH
>>Extrapolations invited.
>>Sam Clements
>>----- Original Message -----
>>From: "Mark Mandel" <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
>>Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 23:06
>>Subject: Re: "the apocryphal HDAS III"
>>>Sturgeon's Law: 98% of everything is crap.
>>>m a m
>>>On Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 9:23 PM, Alice Faber <faber at haskins.yale.edu>
>>>>On 8/3/10 6:27 PM, Dave Wilton wrote:
>>>>>  There may be a sample bias here.
>>>>>  An American is more likely to encounter an English writer who makes
>>>>>  their
>>>>living off writing--novelists, essayists, etc., but will typically
>>>>a much broader range of American writers, including business people,
>>>>doctors, lawyers, politicians, etc. Creative and witty writing is not
>>>>necessarily rewarded in these other field. (Nor should it be, especially;
>>>>I'd rather have an ironclad contract written in impenetrable jargon than
>>>>with clauses of dubious legality that is a wonder to read).
>>>>>  As to my experience in negotiations, I'd give my American colleagues
>>>>higher marks for wit, creativity, nonconformity, and argumentation any
>>>>But then I only dealt with a single British diplomat on a regular basis,
>>>>I wouldn't judge the entire British diplomatic corps on that one example.
>>>>(I'm not saying he wasn't competent, just not a sterling example of
>>>>rhetorical and literary expertise.) Plus, I knew a bunch of zeroes on the
>>>>American side, too--including one who, in a very late night of
>>>>lost it and called the Israeli delegate a "liar." (Not the most shining
>>>>moment of American diplomacy.)
>>>>Indeed. Back in the 80s, PBS stations in the US regularly aired various
>>>>British sitcoms. These were much wittier than the comparable American
>>>>comedies. In the winter of 1985 (or so), I went to England for a
>>>>conference at Oxford. One of the things I was looking forward to was a
>>>>chance to see more British sitcoms. Well...then I saw the ones that PBS
>>>>hadn't picked up...All I can say is ouch.
>>>>Alice Faber                                       faber at haskins.yale.edu
>>>>Haskins Laboratories                            tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
>>>>New Haven, CT 06511 USA                               fax (203) 865-8963
>>>>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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