[Ads-l] Earlier "ragtime"?

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Thu Nov 8 12:30:58 EST 2018

As a general point of antedating technique, I suggest the "too good to be true" consideration.  If a database "hit" is significantly earlier than the earliest known citation, this may well mean that the hit document is misdated, and the researcher should look, as Ben has done in this instance, for internal evidence in the document establishing the true date.

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, November 8, 2018 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: Earlier "ragtime"?

Here it is on Newspapers.com, from the Westville (Mississippi) Weekly News,
dated Dec. 28, 1893:


There's no date or page number on the page image (Newspapers.com says it's
on p. 8). If you click back to p. 1, it does indeed say Dec. 28, 1893. But
if you go to p. 7, under the masthead it gives the date as Apr. 12, 1900.


So unfortunately I think the front page from 1893 was incorrectly attached
to pages from 1900. As further confirmation of the misdating, elsewhere on
p. 8 there's a reference to "Sir Henry Stafford Northcote, the new governor
of Bombay." Northcote took up that position in 1900.

On Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 10:27 AM Jesse Sheidlower <jester at panix.com> wrote:

> David Wondrich, who chiefly writes about cocktail history, posted this
> 1893 example of "ragtime" on Twitter:
> https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FDavidWondrich%2Fstatus%2F1060552473990062085&data=02%7C01%7Cfred.shapiro%40yale.edu%7Cc12f25e92a114a367a0b08d645997c51%7Cdd8cbebb21394df8b4114e3e87abeb5c%7C0%7C0%7C636772922853414437&sdata=kNYXg49Ce1XrNgy0p%2BSQwHrc1dX26bXQ%2B8uCm1prn0k%3D&reserved=0
> I haven't checked it out, but if it's accurate....

The American Dialect Society - https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.americandialect.org&data=02%7C01%7Cfred.shapiro%40yale.edu%7Cc12f25e92a114a367a0b08d645997c51%7Cdd8cbebb21394df8b4114e3e87abeb5c%7C0%7C0%7C636772922853414437&sdata=kmbO4GujkHPRVT2ltUAiFCpvs9t%2F7hSntnXAo8dao5Q%3D&reserved=0

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list