[Ads-l] Help reading a 1721 Boston newspaper - bombard?

GUY LETOURNEAU Owner guy1656 at CENTURYLINK.NET
Mon Sep 14 15:59:03 UTC 2015


I also cannot see the text, but is there any possibility that 'bombard' might be used there to liken a noisy, impertinent, or obnoxious character to a certain nasal-sounding, double-reed musical instrument still popular in the music of Brittany?

- GLL

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joel Berson" <berson at ATT.NET>
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2015 10:27:58 PM
Subject: Re: Help reading a 1721 Boston newspaper

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET>
Subject:      Re: Help reading a 1721 Boston newspaper
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Douglass asked:

"Why not "bombast" [adjective]?"

Yes, I somehow overlooked the OED's "bombast, adj." until after I'd sent my=
 question.=C2=A0 Surrounding 1721 the OED2 has quotations from 1674 and 178=
1, so perhaps it would be a useful interdating.=C2=A0 But my main interest =
is in deciding between it and "bombard", which would be more interesting to=
 the OED.

I've never ... well, hardly ever ... been able to distinguish "adjective" f=
rom "attributive noun", and I won't try here.

Joel

      From: Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at NB.NET>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU=20
 Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2015 11:58 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Help reading a 1721 Boston newspaper
  =20
On 9/12/2015 12:17 PM, Joel Berson wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------=
------
> Sender:=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.=
EDU>
> Poster:=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 Help reading a 1721 Boston newspaper
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
------
>
> I would be grateful for help (ideally from more than one person) in readi=
ng=3D
>=C2=A0 a line from the Boston Gazette of 1721 (Aug.. 28 to) Sept. 4.=3DC2=
=3DA0 On pag=3D
> e three there is a letter "To the Author of the Boston Gazette".=3DC2=3DA=
0 Its =3D
> second paragraph contains the text "but whether a ? loose wild pedantick =
Sc=3D
> hool Boy performance ..."
>
> The letter is signed "W. Anti-inoculator" (William Douglass).=3DC2=3DA0 I=
 am no=3D
> t able to identify the writer characterized as a "School Boy" performer.
>
> I have two possible readings for the questioned word, "Bombard" (n. 1.a o=
r =3D
> 1.c) or "Bombast" (n. 3.a).=3DC2=3DA0 "Bombast" seems more likely to me g=
iven t=3D
> he context (speech) and the appearance of the next-to-last letter (more l=
ik=3D
> e a long s than an r).
--

Me, I can't actually see the text in question.

Why not "bombast" [adjective]?

(I guess this adjective is no longer usual. To check whether it was used=20
in the period in question, one can search for (e.g.) <<"the most=20
bombast">>, incidentally at the same time maybe somewhat distinguishing=20
"adjective" from "attributive noun".)

Incidentally, I see the sentence in question mentioned in Perry Miller's=20
"The New England Mind" (Google Books: search for (e.g.) <<bombast "loose=20
wild" "perry miller">>).

-- Doug Wilson

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