[Ads-l] Interesting early use of 'jazz' far away from music

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sat Oct 31 01:43:29 UTC 2015

This fits with the sense of the first two appearances of "jazz" -- Ben
Henderson's "jazz curve" and the statement that the idea that a young
ballplayer isn't talented is "all to the jazz" -- the sense of nonsense,
foolishness, or such.  Henderson's jazz curve was ridiculous: it wobbled;
the misunderestimation of the young player is nonsense; and a jazz trip in
an airplane without purpose or destination is foolish.

All but one of the rest of the citations from 1914 (as I recall) show the
other sense: energy or enthusiasm; which is the sense that links to "jazz"
in music.


On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 3:32 PM, Geoffrey Steven Nathan <
geoffnathan at wayne.edu> wrote:

> I subscribe to an aviation trade journal (Aviation Week) which is having a
> feature on 100 years of 'airline technology'. Here's a quote from an
> article:
> On a bright New Year's Day morning in 1914, an enthusiastic crowd that had
> gathered at the yacht basin in St. Petersburg, Florida, cheered with
> delight as a fragile-looking Benoist XIV floatplane left the water and
> pointed its blunt nose in the direction of nearby Tampa. Squeezed into the
> tiny cockpit were pioneer aviator Tony Jannus and Abe Pheil, a former St.
> Petersburg mayor who had bid $400 to become the first fare-paying passenger
> on the world's first scheduled, fixed-wing airline flight. Percival
> Fansler, the local businessman behind the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line
> recalled:
> "[T]he idea popped into my head that instead of monkeying around with [the
> Benoist XIV] to give 'jazz' trips, I would start a real commercial line
> from somewhere to somewhere else. My experience in Florida led me to
> conclude that a line could be operated between St. Petersburg and Tampa."
> Here's a link to the AWST article, although it might be pay-walled:
> http://bit.ly/1HhjCmJ
> [
> http://aviationweek.com/site-files/aviationweek.com/files/uploads/2015/10/wings-intropromo.jpg
> ]<http://bit.ly/1HhjCmJ>
> 100 Years Of Commercial Airline Technology<http://bit.ly/1HhjCmJ>
> bit.ly
> The rise of the airliner from humble origins to pivotal economic engine.
> Geoffrey S. Nathan
> Faculty Liaison, C&IT
> and Professor, Linguistics Program
> http://blogs.wayne.edu/proftech/
> +1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
> Nobody at Wayne State will EVER ask you for your password. Never send it
> to anyone in an email, no matter how authentic the email looks.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998..

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

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