[Ads-l] "War is months of boredom..."

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 27 05:24:43 EST 2020


Hello again. A slightly earlier variant in June 1909 written by the
same pseudonymous author, Civis, in the same newspaper.  Civis
disclaimed authorship.

Date: June 28, 1909
Newspaper: The Westminster Gazette
Newspaper Location: London, England
Article: The Officer Question
Author: Civis
Quote Page 3, Column 2
Database: British Newspaper Archive

[Begin excerpt]
War itself has been described as "months of intolerable boredom
interspersed with moments of agonising fear." It is for the moments
only that the soldier has to live, and his constant apprehension is
always lest the long periods of peace may not involve so vast an
effort of the imagination that when the supreme moment comes he may
find himself as unable to recognise it for what it is as the man born
blind who suddenly recovers his sight.
[End excerpt]

Apologies for these repetitive posts. I blame Civis for continuous rephrasing.
Garson O'Toole

On Sun, Dec 27, 2020 at 5:01 AM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> In August 1910 the same newspaper, The Westminster Gazette, printed a
> piece by the same pseudonymous author, Civis, that contained a close
> variant statement.
>
> Date: August 16, 1910
> Newspaper: The Westminster Gazette
> Newspaper Location: London, England
> Article: The Territorial Trainings, 1910
> Author: Civis
> Start Page 1, Quote Page 2, Column 1
> Database: British Newspaper Archive
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> "Months of monotonous fatigue, punctuated by moments of agonising
> fear"--that is War, and the sooner the Territorial learns that
> fundamental truth the better.
> [End excerpt]
>
> In the previous message presenting the 1909 citation, I incorrectly
> listed two databases. The citation is in the British Newspaper Archive
> and not in Newspapers.com
>
> Garson O'Toole
>
> On Sun, Dec 27, 2020 at 4:35 AM ADSGarson O'Toole
> <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Intriguing topic and excellent find, JL. Here is an instance in a
> > London newspaper in 1909.
> >
> > Date: September 28, 1909
> > Newspaper: The Westminster Gazette
> > Newspaper Location: London, England
> > Article: The Army Manoeuvres
> > Author: Civis
> > Quote Page 1, Column 3
> > Database: Newspapers.com
> > Database: British Newspaper Archive
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > Army manoeuvres on a large scale are not primarily intended for the
> > instruction of regimental officers and men, nor, in point of fact, do
> > they teach them anything but the virtue of patience. Just as war
> > itself has not inaptly been described by an old campaigner as
> > consisting of weeks of intolerable boredom, punctuated by moments of
> > agonising fear, so Grand Manoeuvres are, so far as the rank-and-file
> > are concerned, made up of periods of laborious marches and intense
> > discomfort, varied by impossible tactical situations.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Garson O'Toole
> >
> > On Sat, Dec 26, 2020 at 3:10 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > This is now a well-known proverb, usually in the form "months of
> > > boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror."
> > >
> > >  London Times (Nov. 4, 1914), Sec. II, p. 5:
> > >
> > > “THE BAPTISM OF FIRE — CAVALRY SUBALTERN’S VIVID EXPERIENCE…Some one
> > > described this war as ‘Months of boredom punctuated by moments of terror.’”
> > >
> > > Daily Advocate (Stamford, Conn.) (Dec. 9, 1914), p. 5:
> > >
> > > “LONDON….The following…account of the war was written by Lieut. H. O. Anne,
> > > of the Royal Field Artillery: … ‘One of our officers, after the South
> > > African War [1899–1902] described war as a period of intense discomfort
> > > punctuated by moments of abject terror.’”
> > >
> > >
> > > JL
> > > --
> > > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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