[Ads-l] Quote About Wagner's Music

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 20 15:50:55 EST 2016


You're welcome, Fred. Here are some more details. On August 4, 1887
"The Wichita Daily Beacon" reprinted a column by Bill Nye with an
acknowledgement to the "New York World" newspaper. (Hence, an earlier
citation exists in the "New York World").

The column called "His Information Bureau" began with a letter from
"TRUTH SEEKER" to Nye that posed several questions. One question was
about classical music. The word "distinguish" was spelled
"destinguish":

[ref] 1887 August 4, The Wichita Daily Beacon, His Information Bureau:
Bill Nye Takes a Man into His Confidence and educates Him (From the
New York World), Quote Page 2, Column 2, Wichita, Kansas.
(Newspapers_com)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
What is the peculiarity of classical music and how can one destinguish it?
[End excerpt]

Nye answered with a version of the quip that was later applied to
Wagner's music.

[Begin excerpt]
The peculiar characteristic of classical music is that it is really so
much better than it sounds.
[End excerpt]

On November 22, 1889 "The Indianapolis News" reported that Bill Nye
employed the Wagner quip while he was visiting Philadelphia:

[ref] 1889 November 22, The Indianapolis News, "SCRAPS", Quote Page 2,
Column 3, Indianapolis, Indiana. (Newspapers_com)[/ref]

https://www.newspapers.com/image/34568113/?terms=Nye%22

[Begin excerpt]
Says a Philadelphia newspaper: "Bill Nye on his recent visit to this
city to lecture called upon a well-known music lover, and while there
was asked to write in an autograph album. He did so, and among other
things wrote the following: "Wagner's music, I have been informed, is
really much better than it sounds.'"
[End excerpt]

Garson


On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 2:42 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> Thanks to Garson for his characteristically helpful reply.  I had searched barrypopik.com for "richard wagner" and found nothing, but it turns out that Barry's entry avoids giving Wagner's first name.
>
>
> Fred Shapiro
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Project-wombat <project-wombat-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
> Sent: Sunday, November 20, 2016 2:28 PM
> To: list at project-wombat.org
> Subject: Re: [PW] ? Quote About Wagner's Music (Quotation Query #755)
>
> Barry Popik has a valuable entry on the topic here:
>
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.barrypopik.com_index.php_new-5Fyork-5Fcity_entry_wagners-5Fmusic-5Fis-5Fbetter-5Fthan-5Fit-5Fsounds&d=CwICAg&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=sRkhHMQo6W5Ird1lkQFqb23bCfSHAR2XjUSUG53db5M&m=-z0GoZCN6TQu1BDm1pypCr76vdFi4IPiFyEzPHFRCho&s=DBbppxE39MQ5JfLuk-5-SYcgDfZyBN4snGPStLGyZP0&e=
>
> The newspapers.com database has some slightly earlier citations:
>
> The "classical music" variant in "Bill Nye's Bureau" article here:
>
> The Shippensburg Chronicle
> Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
> Thursday, September 1, 1887 - Page 4
>
> The "Wagner's music" variant here:
>
> The Indianapolis News
> Indianapolis, Indiana
> Friday, November 22, 1889 - Page 2
>
> I will share more details when I have a chance. Alternatively, someone
> may antedate these citations.
>
> Garson
>
> On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 1:52 PM, John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:
>> On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 1:45 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>
>> wrote:
>>
>> In the Yale Book of Quotations I cite "Wagner's music is better than it
>>> sounds" to Bill Nye, quoted in Mark Twain's Autobiography.
>>
>>
>> Note that Nye, as reported by Twain, prefixed the famous words with the
>> significant
>> "I have been told that", suggesting that the idea was already a trope at
>> the time.
>>
>> --
>> John Cowan          https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__vrici.lojban.org_-7Ecowan&d=CwICAg&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=sRkhHMQo6W5Ird1lkQFqb23bCfSHAR2XjUSUG53db5M&m=-z0GoZCN6TQu1BDm1pypCr76vdFi4IPiFyEzPHFRCho&s=tzEqP6nbQ-YJmcQ5W8SKgeAnTxj1NFy5oE4Re15K7aU&e=         cowan at ccil.org
>> Any sufficiently-complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad-hoc,
>> informally-specified bug-ridden slow implementation of half of Common Lisp.
>>         --Greenspun's Tenth Rule of Programming (rules 1-9 are unknown)
>> _______________________________________________
>> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
>> list at project-wombat.org
>> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.project-2Dwombat.org_&d=CwICAg&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=sRkhHMQo6W5Ird1lkQFqb23bCfSHAR2XjUSUG53db5M&m=-z0GoZCN6TQu1BDm1pypCr76vdFi4IPiFyEzPHFRCho&s=eUpg1-TYmM1WvldfJOsLvgC72D8zZtRMQRzZEq8LxTg&e=
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
> list at project-wombat.org
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.project-2Dwombat.org_&d=CwICAg&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=sRkhHMQo6W5Ird1lkQFqb23bCfSHAR2XjUSUG53db5M&m=-z0GoZCN6TQu1BDm1pypCr76vdFi4IPiFyEzPHFRCho&s=eUpg1-TYmM1WvldfJOsLvgC72D8zZtRMQRzZEq8LxTg&e=
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list