Quote: The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 18 17:50:21 UTC 2012

I received a reply from Nigel Rees about the confusing citation with
an apparent 1901 date. He said that 1901 was a misdating. So,
currently the earliest known possible allusion to the quotation
appeared in the 1910 letter from Hilaire Belloc. Nigel indicated that
he had previously identified this reference in Belloc's letter. Great

Thanks to Victor Steinbok for a response off-list. It does seem
possible that "The Scotsman" could be a reference to the newspaper or
a reference to an archetypal Scotsman. Similarly, "The Aberdonian"
might be a reference to a periodical or an archetypal resident of
Aberdeen. I haven't located any periodicals called "The Aberdonian".
(There was a ship that used that name.)


> On 1/17/2012 12:36 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:
>> ...
>> Cite: 1946 April, The Urologic and Cutaneous Review, Syphilis and the
>> Wassermann Reaction by William G. Richards, Page 208, Number 4,
>> Urologic and Cutaneous Press, West Palm Beach, Florida. (Verified on
>> paper)
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> And nothing seems to give greater satisfaction than a recounting of
>> sexual irregularities. Of course the sexual function has always seemed
>> to have something humorous about it, and though this humor may be
>> often coarse and vulgar it yet occasions much amusement to both men
>> and women. The Scotsman characteristically summed it up, that "the
>> position is ridiculous, the pleasure is momentary, and the expense is
>> damnable."
>> [End excerpt]
>> ...

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

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