"Please don't shoot the organist; he's doing his best" (1882)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Dec 24 01:47:21 UTC 2006

At 5:34 PM -0800 12/23/06, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>On Dec 23, 2006, at 5:18 PM, Fred Shapiro wrote with cites from the
>early 1880s.
>and eventually we get Truffaut's New Wave classic (1960), Tirez sur
>le pianiste, apparently released in the UK as Shoot the Pianist but
>in North America as Shoot the Piano Player.
>arnold, thinking it's time to watch this again

My favorite movie during my twenties, but one I'm wary of re-seeing
precisely out of fear of a letdown.  Charles Aznavour, the sad-faced
star, was known before and since making the movie mostly for his
singing--which brings up a query, given his jazzesque stylings at the
keyboard in STPP:

What was the verdict on that 1909 first cite in the OED (still up
there) for "jazz"--

1909 C. STEWART Uncle Josh in Society (gramophone-record), One lady
asked me if I danced the jazz.

do I recall that being dismissed here as a typo or misdating?  [Note
that it doesn't appear in brackets.]  I ask partly because my
students, answering a question on "jazz" etymythologies on their
take-home final, have found their way to this entry, which they take
(not unreasonably) to be the earliest cite for any sense of the word,
predating those West Coast baseball occurrences for 'vim' and such.

Sorry if the answer is obvious to some of you.


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

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