[Ads-l] Request help tracing a joke in =?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=9CMcClure's_Magazine=E2=80=9D_?=in 1927

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 2 04:27:16 UTC 2019

The Quote Investigator website now has an entry on the family of jokes
discussed in this thread.

“Are You Enjoying Yourself?” “Yes, But That’s the Only Thing I Am Enjoying”

[Begin acknowledgement]
Great thanks to Nigel Rees whose inquiry led QI to formulate this
question and perform this exploration. Rees asked about this topic in
the January 2019 issue of “The ‘Quote…Unquote’ Newsletter”. Special
thanks to Jesse Sheidlower and Stephen Goranson for help verifying the
1927 “McClure’s” citation. Thanks to Thomas Fuller for pointing to the
pertinent 1911 quotation in “The Devil’s Dictionary”. Also, thanks to
discussants Sue Watkins, T. F. Mills, and Dennis Lien.
[End acknowledgement]

Garson O’Toole

On Sun, Dec 30, 2018 at 6:12 AM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Here is some further progress. A more elaborate instance from the same
> family of jokes was circulating in 1883. The humor again hinged on the
> phrase “enjoying yourself” and subject-object ambiguity.
> [ref] 1883 January 8, The Times, Midwinter Mirth, Quote Page 3, Column
> 2, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com) [/ref]
> [Begin excerpt]
> Wrapped in his own originality: Young Goldy sat by himself in the
> corner, meditatively twirling his moustache, not noticing anybody and
> noticed by none. He was finally spied out by Brown, who approached and
> said, "You don't seem to be enjoying yourself, Goldy, my boy." "Oh,
> yes, I am," replied Goldy in a languid manner: enjoying myself hugely,
> old fellow; but kill me if I am enjoying any of these people, you
> know."—Boston Transcript.
> [End excerpt]

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

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