[Ads-l] Bogus Andrew Johnson quote?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat May 6 16:37:50 EDT 2017


> On May 6, 2017, at 10:11 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> A newspaper check reveals relatively recent instances of other cities
> characterized in similar terms but not by Andrew Johnson.
> 
> Possibly relevant unconsciously is Rod Serling's weekly claim (1960-61
> season) that the Twilight Zone is "a wondrous land whose borders

“whose boundaries are that of imagination”, actually—but still plural

> are that
> [sic] of imagination."
> 
> JL
> 
> On Sat, May 6, 2017 at 12:32 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> 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
>>> Professor, Linguistics Program
>>> http://blogs.wayne.edu/proftech/
>>> +1 (313) 577-1259
>>> On Half-time: Generally not in office on Monday or Fridays but I do
>> read e=
>>> mail.
>>> Nobody at Wayne State will EVER ask you for your password. Never send
>> it t=
>>> o anyone in an email, no matter how authentic the email  looks.
>>> =20
>>>   =20
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 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."
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>> 
>>> 
>>> American Dialect Society
>>> www.americandialect.org<http://www.americandialect.org>
>>> The American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, is dedicated to the study
>> of=
>>> the English language in North America, and of other languages, or
>> dialects=
>>> of other ...
>>>    =
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list