[Ads-l] [Non-DoD Source] where to find sympathy

Thu Oct 19 18:37:57 UTC 2017

> > On the Strong Language blog, I look into variations on a saying we
> > discussed a couple of years ago: "If you're looking for sympathy, you can find it in the dictionary between 'shit' and 'syphilis.'"
> >
> > https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/where-can-you-find-sympath
> > y/
> >
> > Linking back to our earlier discussion:
> >
> > http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2015-March/136422.htm
> > l
> >
> > JL will be glad to know that I tracked down the example he remembered in the "World at War" miniseries.
> >
> > --bgz
> >
> Bonus points to Ben for quoting "Major Payne".
> Also:
> Syracuse NY _Post-Standard_ 22 May 1964 p 27 col a (bridge column, possibly syndicated?) "Now everybody knows that a bridge columnist
> is the tenderest of God's creatures, but there is a limit to our sweetness. "You'll find sympathy in the dictionary between Stupid and Throw-
> off," I informed my friend."
> _New Tops_ Feb 1970, p 39 col 2.
> "You will find 'sympathy' in the dictionary between fertilizer and shoe polish."


Little Rock _Arkansas Democrat_ 11 Mar 1951 p 6B col 3
"There are a few wives, however, who also had a tough day and tell their tired mates if they want sympathy to look in the dictionary between symmetry and symphonic."

_Fairview [KS] Enterprise_ 29 Jun 1961 p 3 col 4
"He:  "Do you know where to find sympathy?"
She:  "No, where?"
He:  "In the dictionary between two words." "

_La Cross [WI] Tribune_ 19 Jay 1967 p 8 col 4
""If you're looking for sympathy you can find it in the dictionary between shoot and suicide." -- Attributed to a U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructor"
[This is in a syndicated column by Carl Riblet Jr.  He uses this variant occasionally; this is the earliest one of his I can find.]

_Waco [TX] Tribune-Herald_ 3 May 1974 p 4D col 4
""A taxpayer looking for sympathy can search in the dictionary between 'shoot' and 'suicide'." -- Paraphrase of an old saying of U.S. Marine drill instructors."

_Boston Herald_ 2 Mar 1986 p 94 col 5
"As for you ball players who are looking for sympathy it's in the dictionary between sex and syphilis."

State College PA _Centre Daily Times_ 5 Apr 1994 p D1 col 1
"It goes without saying that they're wealthy enough to buy and sell these players so if they're looking for sympathy, it's in the dictionary between symmetry and symphonic."

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

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