aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 19 08:42:29 UTC 2010
It gets better--much better--than I last wrote. GB makes things even
Filtering the search for pre-1893 (just to give a little wiggle room)
gives a number of interesting hits. More to the point, the usage that is
billed as "fig." in the OED--and the one that Red Smith does not approve
of--appears on par with the other meanings of "track record". And
something tells me "turkey-track record" does not refer to the fastest
turkey in a race.
Inside the bar: and other occasional poems. By John Walker May.
Portland/Lewiston, ME: 1884
The Shorth-Han Feller. p. 47
> D'ye see how he does it, takin' it down,
> King's English an' glib Irish lingo?
> Each joke an' each gesture, each laugh an' grimace
> In the turkey-track record find always a place :
> He'd write the whole pack, sir, 'n the very small space
> Where you couldn't write e'en the two spot or ace,—
> A wonderful feat, by jingo !
In case this one is too odd, there is better.
Outing. Vol. 10:2. May 1887
Answers to Correspondents. p. 193
> /G. A. Loomis, Andover, Mass./--Will you kindly inform me through the
> columns of your magazine what distinction Will S. Maltby has attained
> as a bicyclist ? W. S. Maltby is a trick bicyclist, a rink excibitor,
> and by competent judges is considered in the first rank of the /fancy
> riding/ wheelmen, although not the best man in the business. He is now
> in the West, has no track record, and is a professional, making his
> living by his fancy riding.
24th Annual report of the Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of
Agriculture [for 1876]. 1877
Horses. Worcester. From the Report of the Committee on Brood Mares. p. 154
> Instead of breeding with a clearly defined purpose, a horse for cart,
> or saddle, or carriage, a quick-maturing, well-sized, fine-tempered
> animal, "a farmer's colt, and a rich man's horse," they have had vague
> dreams of Dexters and Goldsmith Maids to be got by breeding worn-out
> and usually unsound mares to horses with a track record, or often to
> horses only related in blood to some that have had track records.
Thirty-First Annual Report of the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh,
Ft. Wayne & Chicago Railway Company, to the Stock and Bondhoders, for
The Year Ending December 31, 1893. Pittsburgh: 1894
REPORT OF THE CONSULTING ENGINEER OF THE Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne And
Chicago RAILWAY COMPANY. p. 108
> The track record of the road showing increase from date of lease is as
> 1st. 2d. 3d.
> 4th. Other. Total.
> July 1st, 1869 468.3 34.9
> 108.3 611.5
> Dec. 31, 1893 468.3 270.8 17.2 10.1
> 319.6 1086.0
> Increase 235.9 17.2
> 10.1 211.3 474.5
> To complete 2d track 197.5
> This includes 28 miles of business sidings, gravel pit and sundry
> tracks not paid for by your company or charged to betterment.
> To complete second track, it is estimated, will cost $2,500,000.
What do you think a "track record of the road" is? It's certainly not
the same as a track record for speed or world record on track.
I also have a clear confirmation of my claim of the connection between
"track record" and "world's record" in some circumstances.
The Philadelphia record almanac. 1892
> World's Bicycle Track Record.
> [list of records for 1891]
The Philadelphia record almanac. 1893
> World's Bicycle Track Record.
> [list of records for 1892]
So there are several different meanings of "track record" used some time
between 1870 and 1893, all at the same time. These include all four
meanings I mentioned earlier--the three from the OED, plus the world
record on track (mostly for bicycles, but other possibilities exist),
plus two other odd uses--a positive history of racing for a horse and
then something having to do with railroad tracks.
It is the last two that appear to parallel modern usage, although,
obviously, not about horses or railroad tracks.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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