ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 22 23:53:52 UTC 2013

Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> Elsewhere but not in YBQ:
> 1896  Ambrose Bierce in _San Francisco Examiner_ (July 26) [qtd. in Paul
> Fatout, _Ambrose Bierce_ (Norman, Okla.: U. of Okla. P., 1951) 226] :
> I had thought there could be only two worse writers than Stephen Crane,
> namely two Stephen Cranes.

Ambrose Bierce used the same joke template in 1906 in "The Cynic's
Word Book" later retitled "The Devil's Dictionary":

[ref] 1906, The Cynic's Word Book by Ambrose Bierce, Entry: Clarionet,
Quote Page 51, Doubleday, Page & Company, New York. (Google Books full
view) [/ref]


[Begin excerpt]
CLARIONET, n. An instrument of torture operated by a person with
cotton in his ears. There are two instruments that are worse than a
clarionet - two clarionets.
[End excerpt]

(Hat-tip "The Poetry of Stephen Crane by Daniel Hoffman who mentioned
both quotations.)


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

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