[Ads-l] [Non-DoD Source] where to find sympathy

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 19 17:52:50 EDT 2017


Thank you! I've added an update to the Strong Language post.

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

On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 5:13 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> Excellent 1951 citation, Bill.
>
> Ben gave an 1880 citation for the precursor quip in his article on the
> Strong Language blog. Here is an instance of the precursor in 1868.
>
> Date: August 13, 1868
> Newspaper: Watchman & Reflector (Christian Watchman)
> Newspaper Location: Boston, Massachusetts
> Section: Literary and Miscellaneous Departments
> Article: Life At Sea (Article for the Watchman and Reflector)
> Author: Rev. J. D. Fulton
> Quote Page 5, Column 3
> Database: GenealogyBank
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> Since the first two or three days nearly all have been well, and never
> was there a company more social, more kind or considerate. The old
> negro preacher who said, "If you want to find sympathy look in the
> dictionary for it," could never have been to sea. Here all sympathize
> with the sufferers, and help to contribute to their relief and
> comfort.
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson
>
>
> On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 2:37 PM, MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY
> RDECOM AMRDEC (US) <william.d.mullins18.civ at mail.mil> wrote:
> >> > On the Strong Language blog, I look into variations on a saying we
> >> > discussed a couple of years ago: "If you're looking for sympathy, you
> can find it in the dictionary between 'shit' and 'syphilis.'"
> >> >
> >> > https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/where-can-you-
> find-sympathy/
> >> >
> >> > Linking back to our earlier discussion:
> >> >
> >> > http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2015-
> March/136422.html
> >> >
> >> > JL will be glad to know that I tracked down the example he remembered
> in the "World at War" miniseries.
> >> >
> >> > --bgz
> >> >
> >>
> >> Bonus points to Ben for quoting "Major Payne".
> >>
> >> Also:
> >> Syracuse NY _Post-Standard_ 22 May 1964 p 27 col a (bridge column,
> possibly syndicated?) "Now everybody knows that a bridge columnist
> >> is the tenderest of God's creatures, but there is a limit to our
> sweetness. "You'll find sympathy in the dictionary between Stupid and Throw-
> >> off," I informed my friend."
> >>
> >> _New Tops_ Feb 1970, p 39 col 2.
> >> "You will find 'sympathy' in the dictionary between fertilizer and shoe
> polish."
> >
> > More:
> >
> > Little Rock _Arkansas Democrat_ 11 Mar 1951 p 6B col 3
> > "There are a few wives, however, who also had a tough day and tell their
> tired mates if they want sympathy to look in the dictionary between
> symmetry and symphonic."
> >
> > _Fairview [KS] Enterprise_ 29 Jun 1961 p 3 col 4
> > "He:  "Do you know where to find sympathy?"
> > She:  "No, where?"
> > He:  "In the dictionary between two words." "
> >
> > _La Cross [WI] Tribune_ 19 Jay 1967 p 8 col 4
> > ""If you're looking for sympathy you can find it in the dictionary
> between shoot and suicide." -- Attributed to a U.S. Marine Corps Drill
> Instructor"
> > [This is in a syndicated column by Carl Riblet Jr.  He uses this variant
> occasionally; this is the earliest one of his I can find.]
> >
> > _Waco [TX] Tribune-Herald_ 3 May 1974 p 4D col 4
> > ""A taxpayer looking for sympathy can search in the dictionary between
> 'shoot' and 'suicide'." -- Paraphrase of an old saying of U.S. Marine drill
> instructors."
> >
> > _Boston Herald_ 2 Mar 1986 p 94 col 5
> > "As for you ball players who are looking for sympathy it's in the
> dictionary between sex and syphilis."
> >
> > State College PA _Centre Daily Times_ 5 Apr 1994 p D1 col 1
> > "It goes without saying that they're wealthy enough to buy and sell
> these players so if they're looking for sympathy, it's in the dictionary
> between symmetry and symphonic."
>
>

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