[Ads-l] Bogus Andrew Johnson quote?

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 6 00:32:32 EDT 2017


Barry Popik found some great citations back to 1976 and shared his
data on his website here:

http://barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/washington_dc_is_12_square_miles/

Following Barry's lead I've found a snippet match in Google Books that
seems to be in a 1967 book.

Year: 1967
Title: The Department of Housing and Urban Development [by] John B. Willmann.
Author: John B. Willmann
Publisher: New York, Praeger
Quote Page 117 (GB)
Database: Google Books Snippet match; HathiTrust shows a match also;
data may be inaccurate and should be verified with hardcopy

[Begin extracted text]
"We have a significant, difficult-to-define job to do in
intergovernmental relations," Beckman has commented. "We try to keep
our feet on the ground by recalling from time to time (Deputy
Secretary of HUD) Bob Wood's definition of Washington as ten square
miles surrounded by reality.
[End extracted text]

Garson

On Fri, May 5, 2017 at 4:54 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Washington DC was originally ten miles squared - or 100 square miles.  It is smaller now, because corner was lopped off and given to Virginia.
>
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Geoffrey Nathan <geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU>
> Sent: Friday, May 5, 2017 1:14:21 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: Bogus Andrew Johnson quote?
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Geoffrey Nathan <geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Bogus Andrew Johnson quote?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Although I can't date this with any precision, I know I heard the phrase in=
>  the nineteen seventies, probably at a libertarian gathering, probably in H=
> awaii. But the number was 24, not 12.=20
>
> FWIW
>
> Geoff
>
>
>     =20
>  Geoffrey S. Nathan
>  WSU Information Privacy Officer
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> =20
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>
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Jonath=
> an Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Friday, May 5, 2017 2:20 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Bogus Andrew Johnson quote?
> =A0  =20
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -------------------=
> ----
> Sender:=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 Bogus Andrew Johnson quote?
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> ----
>
> The New Yorker quotes AJ that Washington, DC, is "twelve square miles
> bordered by reality."
>
> Despite the usual zillion raw Google hits, my Spidey-sense says fat chance.
> And GB reveals nothing before 2008.
>
> I doubt that any 19th C. person would have been likely to say that any
> physical location was "bordered by reality."
>
> If Johnson had said it, we should heard about it long before 2008.
>
> Its form reminds me, somehow, of a recent, well-known, witticism that I
> cannot bring to mind.
>
> Has Barry or Garson looked into this?
>
> JL
>
> --=20
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
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