Early "bullshit"

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Wed Mar 19 21:22:30 UTC 2014

On 3/19/2014 4:23 PM, Bonnie Taylor-Blake wrote:
> ....
> ----------------------------------------------
> N.L. Gage read an editorial from a New York paper, which stated that
> the brick pavement was found very durable in Bloomington and other
> small cities, and that the expense of keeping it in repair was very
> small.  Wherever brick pavement had been used, it was giving unusual
> satisfaction.  The total cost of the pavement runs from $1 80 to $2 50
> per square yard, according to the bullshit of sand.
> (From "Will Pave; The Decision Arrived at at Last Night's Meeting,"
> The Daily Commonwealth, [Topeka, Kansas], 31 August 1886, Pg. 5,
> column 2; via newspapers.com.)
> (By the way, "bullshit of sand" may well be a typo for, well,
> something, but that "bullshit" is quite clear. -- Bonnie)

Maybe (intentional?) typo. for "ballast".

> -----------------------------------------
> The second item is an advertisement that appeared in The Charlotte
> [NC] News in March 1916. It's for Scholtz's Florist on North Tryon
> Street.  I've uploaded to the following site a PDF including the ad
> itself as well as a larger page view.  The file will be available
> there for about a week.
> http://www.med.unc.edu/uploads/ecrcg.bullshit.pdf
> (That advertisement was also in the database at newspapers.com.)

I suppose a practical joke, or sabotage by disgruntled typesetter or
something like that?

-- Doug Wilson

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

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