[Ads-l] Scribblers [ws:Quote: They're not writers; they're typists. (Truman Capote, Sprint 1957)]

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Mon Mar 28 20:39:56 UTC 2016


"Scribbler" was a common slur in the 18th century, I believe.  I have more than a couple of examples from the "paper war" over inoculation in 1721--22 in Boston.

There is also the article "The Scribbler", which appeared in a few issues of _The Gentleman's Magazine_ in 1781 (I don't know whether it appeared other years). Note the Scribbler's low expectations of himself:

“Prompted by the ambition of appearing in print, theScribbler here obtrudes his compositions on the Public. His character may obstructhis success, but it precludes disappointment; for no one can conceive verysanguine expectations of entertainment from the Scribbler.”  (The Scribbler, No. 1; Gentleman’s Magazine (vol.51), for January, 1781, p. 68.)

Joel


      From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 2:46 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Quote: They're not writers; they're typists. (Truman Capote, Sprint 1957)
   
> On Mar 28, 2016, at 12:20 PM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
> 
> From a time of older technology, perhaps the closest parallel would be "writer" vs. "scribbler."
> 
> --Charlie

As in the taunt allegedly directed at Gibbon by, allegedly, some duke or other?
===================
[William Henry,] Duke of Gloucester, brother of King George III, permitted Mr. Gibbon to present to him the [nth*] volume of _The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire}. When the second volume of that work appeared, it was quite in order that it should be presented to His Royal Highness in like manner. The prince received the author with much good nature and affability, saying to him, as he laid the quarto on the table,

"Another d-mn'd thick, square book! Always, scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh! Mr. Gibbon?"

— Beste, Memorials, p. 68. This devastating remark has been attributed elsewhere to the Duke of Cumberland.
Cf. The Memoirs of the Life of Edward Gibbon, ed. G. B. Hill (1900), p. 127 n.

(*variously reported to have been the first, second, or third volume; no entry in QI!) 


> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 11:52 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: Quote: They're not writers; they're typists. (Truman Capote, Sprint 1957)
> 
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:      American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:      Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Quote: They're not writers; they're typists. (Truman Capote,
>              Sprint 1957)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
>> On Mar 28, 2016, at 11:39 AM, W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> =20
>> LH:  << Wonder what the slur is for an academic.  >>
>> WB:  Anybody ever call you an egghead?
> 
> Could be (I still somehow associate "egghead" as invoked by those =
> scorning Adlai Stevenson because they liked Ike, and figured at the time =
> that it must have something to do with Adlai's receded hairline; cf. =
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.accuracyproject.org_cbe-2DStevenson-2CAdlai.html&d=AwIFAw&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=CIUTheIKpl8KQJ0-xawyvOkamgtXSunFSt4Xf9MlK9Q&s=2Ijvtf0ipwLqJb2MgS-QdlnDcd7bSC5kcAJ9tIyEszU&e= ), but is an =
> academic really an egghead with finesse, or an egghead someone who =
> performs intellectual tasks with brute force rather than style?  Not =
> sure about that.
> 
> LH
> 
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