Early American political cartoons

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Jul 8 22:22:09 UTC 2013

I have long surmised that the texts incorporated in early cartoons might be
a source for documenting slang, proverbs, &c.  The American Antiquarian
Society has announced that they have finished digitizing the appr. 600
cartoons in their collection, all before 1876.


The words in the incorporated text are not searchable, but nonetheless, it
is a chance for someone else to test that surmise.

A note on the power of the hyphen:
The note from the AAS opens "AAS holds a comprehensive collection of
political cartoons produced in the United States between 1764 and 1876.
The separately published American cartoon collection holds over 600
examples of caricatures, satires, and political subjects. . . ."  My first
reading of this, indeed, my first several readings of it,was that the cartoon
collection was the subject of a separately published book.  How much
puzzlement would have been saved by the artful placement of a few hyphens: "The
separately-published-American-cartoon collection. . . ."   Indeed, just "
separately-published" would have done the trick, but I like to be lavish
with my hyphens.

Rereading this, I notice that when the title of this feature ("Curators'
Corner") in incorporated into a web address, it raises a nice problem with
visual juncture: "curatorscorner".

GAT (who never scorns curators, even if they are sparing with hyphens).

George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

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

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