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

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 3 21:35:19 EST 2017


Ben Zimmer wrote:
> (Garson -- I read your QI piece, but I don't see the 1953 example
> you mention.)

Below is what I currently say about the "tern" variant in the QI
article. I hope to access Ogden Nash's 1953 collection soon and update
the article. Nash's book is called "The private dining room and other
new verses".

[Begin excerpt from QI article]
In 1953 poet Ogden Nash released a book of light verse, and a
columnist in the “Detroit Free Press” of Michigan highlighted a
variation of the expression under analysis:  10

[Begin excerpt from Detroit Free Press]
In his new book he speaks of stoning seabirds and claims that when he
indulges in this pastime, he “leaves no tern unstoned.” Anyone who can
think up a crack like that commands our undying gratitude.
[End excerpt from Detroit Free Press]

[End excerpt from QI article]

[Begin Note 10 from QI article]
1953 April 13, Detroit Free Press, Resort News Turns Mind to Summer by
Laurena Pringle, Quote Page 17, Column 6, Detroit, Michigan.
(Newspapers_com)
[End Note 10 from QI article]

Garson




> On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 2:29 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>
>> Thanks! I might well have been vaguely recalling the Ogden Nash (a
>> favorite of my mother’s), and possibly some other source for the same
>> reversal—one good tern deserves another, after all--but somehow, despite
>> the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Kesey's Merry Pranksters being
>> favorites of mine at the time, I didn’t retain the wonderful “No Left Turn
>> Unstoned”.
>>
>> LH
>>
>> > On Dec 3, 2017, at 2:09 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > 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

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