[Ads-l] Antedating of "Ivy Leaguer"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 3 19:29:40 UTC 2014

Below is an earlier instance of "ivy leaguers" followed by a tricky
faulty citation for "ivy league" in the Newspapers.com database.

Date: November 22, 1935
Newspaper: Alton Evening Telegraph (Alton, Illinois)
Article: Football Prophet Comes Up Bravely for Last Round
News service: AP
Quote Page: 14
Database: Newspapers.com

[Being excerpt]
Princeton-Dartmouth -- A couple
of undefeated and untied "ivy
leaguers" get together.
[End excerpt]

Newspapers.com has a citation for "ivy league" with a date of August
10, 1934. This date is based on the metadata in the database.
Unfortunately, this date is incorrect. In addition, the problem is not
obvious. The scans were probably created from microfilm and the text
is degraded. The date is not visible on the image page. The date is
also not visible on adjacent pages. Skipping forward to next issue
leads to a front page with a clear date of August 16, 1934.

Great, thinks the naive researcher (in this case, I am the naive
researcher). This must be an antedating for "ivy league". But, in
truth, the page image order has somehow been scrambled and the August
10, 1934 date is still incorrect.

The text of the citation below is about a football player named Sid
Luckman of Columbia University. This seems fine because Columbia
University is in the Ivy League. The story stated that Mr. Luckman
recently signed a contract to join the Chicago Bears.

But according to the sometimes reliable Wikipedia, Luckman was still
playing for Columbia in 1936 and did not join the Bears until 1939.
This timeline was inconsistent with a 1934 signing date.


If you travel backward through the scans in the Newspapers.com
database (instead of forward) you come upon an issue with a date of
August 3, 1939. The correct date for the citation is uncertain, but
the year is probably 1939.

I am posting about this citation because the scans and metadata are
confusing and will probably mislead future researchers who have not
been warned.

Incorrect Date: August 10, 1934 (Date is not readable in scans and is
wrong; correct year is probably 1939 or 1938)
Newspaper Name visible in scans: Soda Springs Sun (Soda Springs, Idaho)
Newspaper Name in database: Caribou County Sun (Soda Springs, Idaho)
Article: Sport Shorts: Luckman Signs
Quote Page 7 (Page number is not readable in scans)
Column: 3
News Service: Released by Western Newspaper Union
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
Sid Luckman, Columbia university's triple-threat half back, has
finally decided to play professional football with the Chicago Bears.
. . .
The Ivy league lad didn't leap at the chance to turn pro. He seemed to
take much greater pride in his academic training than in his athletic
ability. It took quite a bit of persuasion to get him back in
mote-skins, and sighs of relief were distinctly audible when he
affixed his signature to a two-year contract.
[End excerpt]


On Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 10:43 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Antedating of "Ivy Leaguer"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This particular article includes all the schools we now think of as the Ivy=
>  League except Brown is excluded.  Other articles, going back to the very e=
> arliest ones on Feb. 7, 1935, do include Brown.  Early proposals for a form=
> al "Ivy League" sometimes mentioned Army and Navy as well.=0A=
> =0A=
> Nowadays, when the "Ivy League" has such strong social and academic connota=
> tions, and Ivy League football is not of great importance in the sports wor=
> ld, we forget that the grouping was originally based on football rivalries =
> and football policies.=0A=
> =0A=
> Fred Shapiro=0A=
> =0A=
> =0A=
> =0A=
> ________________________________________=0A=
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Lauren=
> ce Horn [laurence.horn at YALE.EDU]=0A=
> Sent: Monday, December 01, 2014 11:18 AM=0A=
> Subject: Re: Antedating of "Ivy Leaguer"=0A=
> =0A=
> On Dec 1, 2014, at 10:51 AM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:=0A=
> =0A=
>> Ivy Leaguer (OED 1943)=0A=
>> 1936 _New York Herald Tribune_ 11 May 22 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)=
>   The Ivy Leaguers accounted for only 20 per cent of the I. C. 4-A prizes l=
> ast year.=0A=
>> Fred Shapiro=0A=
> Does the context (i.e. a list of the prizes) make it clear which colleges w=
> ere taken to be included within that designation?=0A=
> =0A=
> LH=0A=
> =0A=
> ------------------------------------------------------------=0A=
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org=0A=
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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