"Look to the left ..."

Mon Nov 21 18:07:12 UTC 2011

        Well, I don't know.  Are there people who think Harvard students are still told this?

        I think it's pretty clear that it's something that Harvard Law School students were once told.  I remember once meeting an alum who asked if we were still told this, as they were in his day.  (This would have been in 1981, so it does not undercut my suggestion that nobody in 2011 thinks Harvard students are still told this.)  He probably matriculated in the early 1930s or thereabouts, I would guess.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Victor Steinbok
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2011 12:45 PM
Subject: Re: "Look to the left ..."

I'm all for transcription errors...

The only problem is, it's been quite some time since freshman attrition
at Harvard was anywhere near 1/3--or even in double-digit percents.
Would it be too much to say that the story has reached urban-legend status?


On 11/21/2011 12:21 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> At 11/21/2011 11:57 AM, victor steinbok wrote:
>> Dean Landin's decision to eradicate the policy back in 1937 does not appear
>> to have dissuaded promulgation of the story--it is still being told /about/
>> Harvard, but not /at/ Harvard.
> But I was speaking about the entering class(es) of undergraduates --
> that is, the respective colleges, not the Harvard Law
> School.  Apparently Dean Landis had not dissuaded Harvard College
> into the 1950s.
> And having been puzzled by "Dean Landin" -- not a name I remember
> associated with Harvard Law -- it's apparently "The new dean of the
> Harvard Law School, James M. Landis" -- "new" for the Mach 13, 1937,
> Harvard Crimson.  Apparently a transcription error by Victor --
> Google shows the correct spelling.  (For the other change he made at
> the law school, see
> http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1937/3/13/the-versatile-dean-pbthe-new-dean/)
> Or find his term of office at
> http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/spotlight/classroom/related/hls-deans.html
> Joel

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