[Ads-l] "antedate" for _pothole_

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Nov 7 16:22:12 UTC 2014

At 11/6/2014 11:52 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

>On Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 11:35 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I am not questioning the anachronism in "Pemberley", but the implication
> > that somehow a 'pot hole' can be a naturally occurring hole generally, but
> > not in a road, at least not before 1889.
> >
>Were roads before 1889 generally paved as they are, today? Pot holes as
>they occur in the paved streets of today don't naturally occur in dirt
>roads and gravel roads.

1882:  tarmacadam:  A mixed material for making roads, consisting of 
some kind of broken stone or ironstone slag in a matrix of tar alone, 
or of tar with some mixture of pitch or creosote.

Presumably an improvement over the original.  That is, tar + 
Macadam's "a consolidated subsoil, only slightly cambered, on which 
were laid two layers of cleaned, uniformly small pieces of broken 
stone".  "macadam" dates from 1824.

Also, asphalt was used to pave streets as early as 1847 (sense 2.a.).

So yes, a pothole could have appeared before 1889.  But still, an 
anachronism for a character in the 1803 (see Larry's message) of 
_Death Comes to Pemberley_.


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

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