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

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 27 06:01:39 EST 2020


Excellent discoveries.

Your cites lend credence to the idea that the observation was suggested by
the Second Boer War. I wonder if "Civis" was the "officer" Lieut. Anne
alluded to.

JL

On Sun, Dec 27, 2020 at 5:24 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
wrote:

> 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
>


-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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