[Ads-l] "March Madness" "Sweet Sixteen" and the like

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 10 19:33:02 UTC 2019

Reviewers of the original book referred to the hatter as a "mad hatter" as early as December 1865, and the character known as "the Mad Hatter" was a feature of numerous stage versions of the story from as early as 1876.

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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 12:22:10 PM
Subject: Re: "March Madness" "Sweet Sixteen" and the like

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Subject:      Re: "March Madness" "Sweet Sixteen" and the like

> On Apr 10, 2019, at 1:15 PM, Michael Everson <everson at EVERTYPE.COM> =
> Of course in =E2=80=9CA Mad Tea-Party=E2=80=9D the March Hare is quite =
mad (the Hatter is not, and he is never called *Mad Hatter either by =

It=E2=80=99s true that Carroll never identifies him as the *Mad* Hatter, =
but he (the Hatter, not Carroll) strikes me as being quite competitive =
in madness to the March Hare in that chapter. Gardner writes in The =
Annotated Alice that Tenniel, in illustrating the Mad Tea Party =
(https://www.nls.uk/exhibitions/treasures/alice-in-wonderland/tea-party), =
drew the Hatter, at Carroll=E2=80=99s own suggestion, =E2=80=9Cto =
resemble one Theophilus Carter, a furniture dealer near Oxford. Carter =
was known in the area as the Mad Hatter, partly because he wore a top =
hat=E2=80=A6=E2=80=9D And of course Tenniel=E2=80=99s Hatter wears that =
top hat with the large price sign, =E2=80=9CIn this style 10/6=E2=80=9D. =
Tenniel also drew the Hatter as a spitten image of Bertrand Russell, who =
was born five years after the publication of Alice=E2=80=99s Adventures =
in Wonderland, but that=E2=80=99s another story.=20


> but there is also the story the Dormouse tells of the three sisters =
with all the alliteration of things beginning with M:
> =E2=80=98They were learning to draw,=E2=80=99 the Dormouse went on, =
yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy; =E2=80=98and=
 they drew all manner of things =E2=80=94 everything that begins with an =
M=E2=80=94 =E2=80=A6 such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and =
muchness =E2=80=94 you know you say things are =E2=80=9Cmuch of a =
muchness=E2=80=9D=E2=80=94 did you ever see such a thing as a drawing of =
a muchness?=E2=80=99
> Michael Everson
>> On 29 Mar 2019, at 18:58, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> Last year I started a thread about this here.
>> =
>> I recently posted a piece summarizing my findings on "March Madness", =
"Sweet Sixteen," "Elite Eight", "Cinderella" teams and the "Big Dance."
>> =
>> I didn't find anything earlier than the 1927 "Sweet Sixteen" I =
mentioned here last year, although I did find some new, early examples =
from 1928, also in Indiana.
>> I didn't find anything earlier than the 1931 example of "March =
Madness" Barry Popik found previously.  I did, however, provide examples =
of earlier meanings of "March madness," including one common usage =
relating to bad weather.
>> The 1931 example appears to play off the weather-related usage.  =
Under the headline, "March Madness," it refers to a number of recent =
upsets in the tournament as "flurries".  It does not unambiguously refer =
to the tournament itself as "March madness," although the inspiration =
for the expression is clearly there.
>> =
>> I haven't seen any other examples until 1937 when it becomes common, =
and was used at that time in both Indiana and Michigan.  It might be =
older, but no examples in print other than the 1931 example.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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