Today's Language Quotation

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Feb 19 01:02:05 UTC 2006

On the former civility of the Americans :

  "Speaking of titles reminds me that at home I am plain Edward F. Babbage, or 'Phat Boy' (I spell it with a "Ph" because it does not sound so greasy), but the moment I leave home, say for a trip through the South, I am called Captain for the first few hundred miles, then a little way on it becomes Colonel, and when I get to Georgia it is Major; in South Carolina it is Judge or General, until I get to Florida where...[they] say, 'Great God, is that you?' "

  --Edward F. Babbage, _The "Phat Boy's" 15 Years on the St. Lawrence_. 7th ed. (Rochester, N.Y.: E. F. Babbage, 1888), pp. 37-38.

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