[Ads-l] finding sympathy in the dictionary

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 29 18:20:45 EST 2017


Excellent find, GAT.

Back in October there was a discussion thread initiated by Ben Zimmer
about a related scatological quip based on sympathy and the
dictionary.

"If you're looking for sympathy, you can find it in the dictionary
between 'shit' and 'syphilis.'"
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2017-October/149679.html

Ben wrote an article for the Strong Language blog and he included a
mention of precursor joke: "One place you can always find sympathy"
"In the dictionary."

https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/where-can-you-find-sympathy/

Ben listed an 1880 citation, and your 1868 citation is a fine advance.

Following your lead with a search in Google Books I found an 1852 citation.

Year: 1852
Title: The (Old) Farmer's Almanack
Publisher: Jenks, Palmer & Company
Database: Google Books Full View

https://books.google.com/books?id=-jNJAQAAMAAJ&q=%22find+sympathy%22#v=snippet&

[Begin excerpt]
SYMPATHY
"My brudders," said a waggish colored man to a crowd, "in all
afliction, in all ob your troubles, dar is one place you can always
find sympathy." — "Whar? Whar?" – "In de dictionary," he replied,
rolling his eyes skyward.
[End excerpt]

Garson


On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 5:13 PM, George Thompson
<george.thompson at nyu.edu> wrote:
> What is the state of play on this expression?  It's not in YDQ, and it
> seems not to be in Popik's Big Apple.
>
> WHERE can even the most miserable always find sympathy? In the dictionary.
>
> *Publication: *Frank Leslie's Weekly
> *Date: *AUGUST 15, 1868
>
> Found through the Accessible Archives database -- while looking for
> something else, of course.
>
>
> GAT
>
> --
> George A. Thompson
> The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
> Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
> Univ. Pr., 1998.
>
> But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
> your lowly tomb. . .
> L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems.  Boston, 1827, p. 112
>
> The Trump of Doom -- also known as The Dunghill Toadstool.  (Here's a
> picture of his great-grandfather.)
> http://www.parliament.uk/worksofart/artwork/james-gillray/an-excrescence---a-fungus-alias-a-toadstool-upon-a-dunghill/3851
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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