Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Dec 21 15:56:58 UTC 2006

And the verb we now spell as "lose" is often spelled "loose" in
18th-century writings.


At 12/21/2006 10:41 AM, you wrote:
>In the third poem of Ben Jonson's "Celebration of Charis in Ten
>Lyrick Pieces" (posthumously published in 1640), the
>persona--scorned by the lady and struck helpless by Cupid's
>arrow--exclaims, "Looser-like, now, all my wreake / Is, that I have
>leave to speake, / And in either Prose, or Song, /
>To revenge me with my Tongue." Some editors alter the spelling of
>"looser-like" to "loser-like." One glosses "looser-like" as "like a loser."
>It seems to me that Jonson's use of "lo(o)ser" approaches the sense
>that's being discussed here: OED, 2e, "an unsuccessful or
>incompetent person, a failure." The persona is unsuccessful,
>incompetent, a failure as a lover; his only talent lies in wielding
>words.  We all know that type of loser (many of us ARE that type of loser!).
>---- Original message ----
> >Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 18:28:23 -0600
> >From: "Mullins, Bill AMRDEC" <Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL>
> >Subject: Re: incongruity was Re: Judas H. Priest
> >
> >OED has 1955 for this particular sense of "loser".
> >
> >"LET'S TALK IT OVER!" [advice column] Alma Whitaker, Los Angeles
> Times; Mar 5, 1939; pg. D6 col 1:
> >"People have to be taught music from earliest youth . . .  I feel
> frightfully sorry for such a loser!"
> >
> >
> >> Poster:       Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
> >> Subject:      incongruity was Re: Judas H. Priest
> >> --------------------------------------------------------------
> >> On incongruity, I noticed "loser" used in "Santa Claus Is
> >> Coming to Town" (1970 if I read the Roman numeral date
> >> correctly". The Winter Warlock says -- "I still had some
> >> magic in me. I guess I'm not a loser after all."
> >>
> >> I know that I've seen this year after year, but that's the
> >> first time I noticed "loser."
> >>
> >> ---Amy West
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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