[Ads-l] Drama Critic Motto: Leave no turn unstoned

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 3 14:09:51 EST 2017


Thanks for your response, LH. There are some fun variants.

Ogden Nash wrote "I leave no tern unstoned" and "I leave no stern
untoned" in a 1953 collection of poems. The QI piece included a 1953
"Detroit Free Press" citation that mentioned the "tern" phrase. Here
is a citation for 1962 collection with the poem. (I have to visit the
library to verify the 1953 collection):

[ref] 1962 First Printing, The Pocket Book of Ogden Nash by Ogden
Nash, Poem: Everybody's Mind to Me a Kingdom Is or A Great Big
Wonderful World It's, Start Page 38, Quote Page 39. Pocket Books: A
Division of Simon & Schuster, New York. (Verified with scans)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
This I shall do because I am a conscientious man, when I throw rocks
at sea birds I leave no tern unstoned,
I am a meticulous man, and when I portray baboons I leave no stern untoned,
[End excerpt]

Tom Wolfe in "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" credited Merry
Prankster Paul Foster with the phrase "No Left Turn Unstoned".

[ref] 1981 (1968 Copyright), The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom
Wolfe, Chapter 12: The Bust, Quote Page 145 and 146, Bantam Books, New
York. (Verified with scans)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
He also had a lot of pens, some of them felt-nib pens with colors, and
he sat up in the tree house while the old restless Roto-rooter, the
good god Speed, scoured puns, puns, puns, puns, puns from out of the
walls of his skull and he fashioned signs like one he put at the
entrance of the place, where the driveway turned in to the bridge from
Route 84, a sign reading: "No Left Turn Unstoned."
[End excerpt]

Garson


On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 12:25 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> Then there’s the joke and/or shaggy dog story with the punchline “Leave no tern unstoned”.  Wonder how far back that one goes?
> There must be a whole inventory of these reversals, ranging from “Time wounds all heels” to the (real or faux) Dorothy Parker bon mot “Tell him I’m too fucking busy and vice versa”...
>
> LH
>
>> On Dec 3, 2017, at 11:45 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>
>> The Quote Investigator website now has an entry about the wordplay in
>> the subject line which is often attributed to George Bernard Shaw.
>>
>> https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/12/02/unstoned/
>>
>> The earliest pertinent evidence I've found is a joke containing the
>> phrase "they left no turn unstoned" in "The Daily Northwestern" of
>> Oshkosh, Wisconsin on August 29, 1899 with an acknowledgment to the
>> "Catholic Standard and Times". I haven't found a digital archive for
>> the "Catholic Standard and Times".
>>
>> Chronicling America seems to say that University of Notre Dame in
>> Indiana has it on microfilm, but searching would be difficult because
>> the date above is simply an upper bound.
>>
>> https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn97016042/holdings/
>>
>> Reference works contain a 1950 citation for George Bernard Shaw and a
>> 1946 citation for Arthur Wimperis. The QI article has 1914 citation
>> for Wimperis but nothing earlier for Shaw.
>>
>> Feedback welcome
>> Garson O'Toole
>> QuoteInvestigator.com
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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