[Ads-l] finding sympathy in the dictionary

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 29 19:04:43 EST 2017


Thank you for carefully checking the citation, Ben.
I didn't catch the problem until after I posted.
Here is a link to the 1853 citation (blocked for non-subscribers)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/58073422/?terms=%2Bdictionary

On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 6:39 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks, George and Garson. I've added another update on my Strong Language
> post noting your finds.
>
> Garson's example from "The (Old) Farmer's Almanack" matches the one that I
> found from 1880 in The Hub, as noted on in my post. But the correct date is
> 1857, not 1852 (the item appears in the almanac for the coming year, 1858).
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 6:20 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> 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

------------------------------------------------------------
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