[Ads-l] Anecdote: Knowing where to tap

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 3 12:37:05 EST 2017


"_To_ tapping machine with hammer, 10s.; _to_ knowing where to tap it, £10;
total,   £10. 10s."

Interesting use of _to_ instead of _for_.

On Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 12:19 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com> wrote:

> "a deal of labor": how much is a deal, if it is not a great deal?
>
> DanG
>
> On Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 12:13 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > A popular tale extols the value of expert knowledge, and I was asked
> > to explore its provenance.
> >
> > Summary: An expert is able to perform a simple action to solve a
> > recalcitrant problem. The large bill sent by the expert is challenged.
> > A subsequent itemized bill displays a small fee for the simple action
> > and a large fee for knowing which simple action to perform.
> >
> > Below is an instance of the anecdote in 1908. An earlier citation or
> > other pertinent information would be welcome.
> >
> > Date: February 1, 1908
> > Periodical: The Journal of the Society of Estate Clerks of Works
> > Volume 21
> > Article: A Moral with an Ending
> > Quote Page 30
> > Publisher: Printed and Published for the Society of Estate Clerks of
> > Works at the "Hampshire Observer" Printing Works, Winchester, England
> > Database: Google Books Full View
> >
> > https://books.google.com/books?id=w-nVAAAAIAAJ&q=%
> 22tap-tap%22#v=snippet&
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > A MORAL WITH AN ENDING.
> >
> > He was the best machinist in the district, and it was for that reason
> > that the manager had overlooked his private delinquencies. But at last
> > even his patience was exhausted, and he was told to go, and another
> > man reigned in his stead at the end of the room.
> >
> > And then the machine, as though in protest, refused to budge an inch,
> > and all the factory hands were idle. Everyone who knew the difference
> > between a machine and a turnip tried his hand at the inert mass of
> > iron. But the machine, metaphorically speaking, laughed at them, and
> > the manager sent for the discharged employee. And he left the comfort
> > of the "Bull" parlour and came.
> >
> > He looked at the machine for some moments, and talked to it as a man
> > talks to a horse, and then climbed into its vitals and called for a
> > hammer. There was the sound of a "tap-tap-tap," and in a moment the
> > wheels were spinning, and the man was returning to the "Bull" parlour.
> >
> > And in the course of time the mill-owner had a bill:--"To mending
> > machine, £10. 10s." And the owner of the works, being as owners go, a
> > poor man, sent a polite note to the man, in which he asked him if he
> > thought tapping a machine with a hammer worth ten guineas. And then he
> > had another bill:--"To tapping machine with hammer, 10s.; to knowing
> > where to tap it, £10; total, £10. 10s."
> >
> > And the man was reinstated in his position, and was so grateful that
> > he turned teetotaller and lived a great and virtuous old age. And the
> > moral is that a little knowledge is worth a deal of labour.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Below is a version from 1922:
> >
> > Date: March 24, 1922
> > Newspaper: Minnesota Daily Star (The Minneapolis Star)
> > Newspaper Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
> > Short Article: Knowledge Is Power
> > Quote Page 17, Column 7
> > Database: Newspapers.com
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > Knowledge Is Power
> >
> > In a factory one of the huge machines stopped suddenly. In spite of
> > exhortation, language, oil and general tinkering it refused to budge.
> > Production slowed down and the management tore its hair.
> >
> > At last an expert was called in. He examined the machine for a few
> > minutes and then asked for a hammer. After tapping here and there for
> > about 10 minutes, he announced that the machine was ready to move. It
> > did.
> >
> > Two days later the management received a bill for $250—the expert's
> > fee. The management demanded a detailed statement of the account.
> >
> > He received this:
> > To tapping machine with hammer. $25
> > Knowing where to tap .......... 225
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Garson
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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


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