Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIO.EDU
Thu Dec 21 16:47:30 UTC 2006

I read this differently, as the scorned one feeling he has a looser tongue
now, as if "allowed" to express his vengeance, i.e., wreake, in prose or
song.  "Loser-like" just doesn't strike me as Jonsonian.

At 10:41 AM 12/21/2006, 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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