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

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 19 17:00:36 UTC 2012

Garson, since the 1946 quotation appeared in an American publication,
presumably by an American author, my impression is that an "archetypal
Scotsman" was intended rather than the paper of that name, with which
few Americans would have been familiar.

Perhaps more weight should go to the question of whether such an
assertion would have been "characteristic" of _The Scotsman_ (or might
have been thought to be).

My guess is it wouldn't.


On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM, Garson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Quote: The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous,
>              and the expense damnable
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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
> work!
> 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.)
> Garson
>> 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]
>>> ...
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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