bogus Horatian quote?

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 19 04:32:47 UTC 2012

> But how did Horace get the credit?

Here is a hypothetical mechanism for the attributional shift to
Horace. The names Howe and Horace are close with respect to
alphabetical order. A compendium of quotations may have listed the
quotation under investigation with an attribution to Edgar Watson
Howe. But, the quotation immediately preceding Howe's words may have
been credited to Horace.

An inattentive transcriptionist may have incorrectly read the entry
and attached the quotation to Horace instead of Howe. I have seen
other examples of unusual attributions that seem to follow this

> It's good to be back. The mysteries of war in literature are starting
> to take up most of my thinking time.

Progress on your opus understandably deserves precedence.

The American Dialect Society -

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