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

Michael Everson everson at EVERTYPE.COM
Wed Apr 10 20:11:50 UTC 2019

On 10 Apr 2019, at 20:22, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
>> On Apr 10, 2019, at 1:15 PM, Michael Everson <everson at EVERTYPE.COM> wrote:
>> Of course in “A Mad Tea-Party” the March Hare is quite mad (the Hatter is not, and he is never called *Mad Hatter either by Carroll)
> It’s 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.

The whole party is mad, hence the title of the 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’s own suggestion, “to 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…”

This is well known.

> And of course Tenniel’s Hatter wears that top hat with the large price sign, “In this style 10/6”. 

Nevertheless I can say as a Carrollian http://evertype.com/carrolliana.html that hearing the Hatter mis-named (apart from Hatta in Through the Looking-Glass) really does chafe. That’s a Disney character. Sigh.

Anyway I thought the alliterative bits in the Mad Tea-Party was interesting in light of the discussion about March Madness, Sweet Sixteen and so on.

Michael Everson

>> but there is also the story the Dormouse tells of the three sisters with all the alliteration of things beginning with M:
>> ‘They were learning to draw,’ the Dormouse went on, yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy; ‘and they drew all manner of things — everything that begins with an M— … such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and muchness — you know you say things are “much of a muchness”— did you ever see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?’
>> 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.
>>> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2018-March/151255.html
>>> I recently posted a piece summarizing my findings on "March Madness", "Sweet Sixteen," "Elite Eight", "Cinderella" teams and the "Big Dance."
>>> https://esnpc.blogspot.com/2019/03/sweet-elite-madness-alliterative.html
>>> 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.
>>> https://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/march_madness
>>> 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.
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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