[off-list] Re: [ADS-L] "fanny", n.4

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Dec 16 15:13:33 UTC 2012

At 12/15/2012 08:17 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>Spedding and Lambert argue against that
>assumption too, based on the absence of evidence
>(which to be sure is not evidence of absence,
>but suspicious if not dispositive) of such a
>meaning between 1749 and the 1830s; they
>maintain there's no causal connection either
>way.  Their   paper concludes as follows (note
>the nod to the "gay" question we discuss every
>now and then, although they don't bring up _Bringing Up Baby_):
>With no evidence for the obscene use of the word _fanny_ before the late
>1830s, there is clearly no justification—at present—for positivist claims
>concerning the obscene intentions of authors who used the name Fanny,
>such as Cleland and Fielding, and no point to speculation concerning
>the obscene meaning of Fanny in the texts penned by these authors.

The Spedding and Lambertites probably said the
same thing about Shakespeare and Chaucer once.


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