A Modester Proposal?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Feb 3 01:37:58 UTC 2010

At 7:51 PM -0500 2/2/10, Wilson Gray wrote:
>And possibly more humane than castor oil, "cough medicine" made of
>whiskey and turpentine, phenolphthalein pills, and Epsom salts,
>"remedies" for children's illnesses that I grew up with. And that's
>only a partial list from the good old days, of just the stuff that I
>personally was (mis)treated with. I never had to deal with sulfur &
>molasses and many other supposed "medicines" of that era.

The first remedy wouldn't be bad, if you could get them to hold the


>On Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 3:51 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>>  Subject:      A Modester Proposal?
>>  On the use of a colonial American nostrum, called "snail water", a
>>  mixture of ground snails and worms:  "Dissolved in water, children
>>  suffering any sort of maladies were expected to get well after
>>  gulping down great volumes of this swill."  Unless they were
>>  swallowed themselves.  But surely more humane than roasting.
>>   From _Hustlers and Con Men_, by Jay Robert Nash (1976), p. 59.
>>  Joel
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"--a strange complaint to
>come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>-Mark Twain
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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