[Ads-l] finding sympathy in the dictionary

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 29 18:55:56 EST 2017


The supposed 1852 citation I gave in the previous message was
incorrect. The excerpt actually appeared in the 1858 Almanack
published in 1857. Several Almanacks were combined in one volume
within the Google Books database. Sorry for my sloppiness. I
discovered my error going backwards one page at a time from the target
page to the beginning page to find the correct metadata. This is a
highly recommended procedure.

Below is a alternative citation in 1853 from the Newspapers.com database.

Date: April 16, 1853
Newspaper: The Semi-Weekly Raleigh Register
Newspaper Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Article: (Untitled filler item)
Quote Page 3, Column 5
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt – double check for errors]
"My broders," said a colored man to a crowd–"in all infliction, in all
ob your trubles dar is one place whar you can alway find sympathy?"
"Whar? whar?" shouted several, "In de dictionary," replied Sambo,
rolling his eyes skyward.
[End excerpt]

I should also mention that I just came across a mailing list message
from 2004 (before my time). Barry Popik found a nice 1858 citation for
the sympathy/dictionary joke.



On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 6:20 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Excellent find, GAT.
> Back in October there was a discussion thread initiated by Ben Zimmer
> about a related scatological quip based on sympathy and the
> dictionary.
> "If you're looking for sympathy, you can find it in the dictionary
> between 'shit' and 'syphilis.'"
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2017-October/149679.html
> Ben wrote an article for the Strong Language blog and he included a
> mention of precursor joke: "One place you can always find sympathy"
> "In the dictionary."
> https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/where-can-you-find-sympathy/
> Ben listed an 1880 citation, and your 1868 citation is a fine advance.
> Following your lead with a search in Google Books I found an 1852 citation.
> Year: 1852
> Title: The (Old) Farmer's Almanack
> Publisher: Jenks, Palmer & Company
> Database: Google Books Full View
> https://books.google.com/books?id=-jNJAQAAMAAJ&q=%22find+sympathy%22#v=snippet&
> [Begin excerpt]
> "My brudders," said a waggish colored man to a crowd, "in all
> afliction, in all ob your troubles, dar is one place you can always
> find sympathy." — "Whar? Whar?" – "In de dictionary," he replied,
> rolling his eyes skyward.
> [End excerpt]
> Garson
> On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 5:13 PM, George Thompson
> <george.thompson at nyu.edu> wrote:
>> What is the state of play on this expression?  It's not in YDQ, and it
>> seems not to be in Popik's Big Apple.
>> WHERE can even the most miserable always find sympathy? In the dictionary.
>> *Publication: *Frank Leslie's Weekly
>> *Date: *AUGUST 15, 1868
>> Found through the Accessible Archives database -- while looking for
>> something else, of course.
>> GAT
>> --
>> George A. Thompson
>> The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
>> Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
>> Univ. Pr., 1998.
>> But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
>> your lowly tomb. . .
>> L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems.  Boston, 1827, p. 112
>> The Trump of Doom -- also known as The Dunghill Toadstool.  (Here's a
>> picture of his great-grandfather.)
>> http://www.parliament.uk/worksofart/artwork/james-gillray/an-excrescence---a-fungus-alias-a-toadstool-upon-a-dunghill/3851
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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