Definition: The country: A damp sort of place where all sorts of birds fly about uncooked (1949 Joseph Wood Krutch)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Oct 8 14:15:53 UTC 2012

At 10/7/2012 08:19 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
>The October 2012 Quote . . . Unquote Newsletter of Nigel Rees has a
>fun statement that is sometimes attributed to Oscar Wilde:
>[Begin excerpt]
>'Nature is where the birds fly around uncooked' - Anon. The common
>attribution to Oscar Wilde seems to be without foundation. (Q1897)
>[End excerpt]
>Here is a version in a 1949 book by Joseph Wood Krutch who credited a
>"London club man". This man perhaps was a fictive satirical figure.

I always thought Oscar Wilde was a fictive satirical figure.


>Cite: 1970 (Copyright 1949), The Twelve Seasons: A Perpetual Calendar
>for the Country by Joseph Wood Krutch, Chapter: June: Spring Rain,
>Quote Page 33 and 34, [Reprint of 1949 edition by arrangement with
>William Morrow & Co.]  Books for Libraries Press, Freeport, New York.
>(Verified on paper)
>[Begin excerpt]
>Children can be taken occasionally to the country to see what the sun
>looks like as they are taken now to see a hill or a mountain. Probably
>many of them will not want to go anyway, for the country will be to
>them only what it was to the London club man: "A damp sort of place
>where all sorts of birds fly about uncooked."
>[End excerpt]
>Also in 1949 the phrase was distributed widely via the Reader's Digest:
>Cite: 1949 August, Reader's Digest, Definitions with a Difference,
>Quote Page 108, The Reader’s Digest Association. (Verified on paper)
>[Begin excerpt]
>London clubman's definition of the country: A damp sort of place where
>all sorts of birds fly about uncooked.
>     — Joseph Wood Krutch, The Twelve Seasons (Sloane)
>[End excerpt]
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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