[Ads-l] off-topic Re: [ADS-L] FDR quotes ("was words connected to a single provenance")

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Fri Aug 31 06:47:48 EDT 2018

*And, the previous day, Dec. 7, was my Mother's birthday. On that day, a young Navy officer, one she had met earlier in Norfolk at a dance with Naval Academy midshipmen, was in Pearl Harbor on the USS Pennsylvania. She later applied for a civil service foreign service job, and she was assigned to Hawaii. He spent most days asea in the Pacific. After WWII, they married.

S. C. Goranson

From: American Dialect Society <> on behalf of Geoffrey Nunberg <>
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2018 2:48 PM
Subject: [ADS-L] FDR quotes ("was words connected to a single provenance")

What a memory to pass down! It’s interesting to ask which of FDR’s famous quotations are still current. “Date that will live in infamy” (often as “day of infamy”) remains widely familiar. So does “nothing to fear but fear itself,” though I don’t know how many still attribute that to FDR.  It’s understandable that fewer recall "one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished“ or "the [great] arsenal of democracy,” which were of their moment.  But I was struck to discover that of my 50-odd Berkeley undergraduates, none—repeat, none—could name all of his Four Freedoms, “want” and “fear” apparently having been jettisoned somewhere along the way. You could write the subsequent history of liberalism right there.

> From: Stephen Goranson <>
> Subject: Re: words connected to a single provenance
> Date: August 29, 2018 at 2:02:22 AM PDT
> As to what may or may not fit the request by Geoffrey Nunberg, whose example, infamy, came from a speech* (in a sentence), such may be up to him--yes, kemosahbee?
> Stephen
> *[My Mother (then a secretary in the Veterans Administration congressional liaison office) stood at the back of the House floor that Dec. 8.]

Geoffrey Nunberg
School of Information
University of California at Berkeley


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

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