[Ads-l] Fw: "Tossed aside lightly/thrown with great force"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 3 19:35:05 UTC 2023

Back on May 7, 2023 Bill Mullins announced his magnificent discovery
of a match for the saying in the subject line within the 1929 book "To
You I Tell It". This match finally solves the mystery of the origin of
the famous book review quip "Not a book to be lightly thrown aside.
Should be thrown with great force." This barb has been misattributed
to Dorothy Parker for decades.

The Quote Investigator article on this topic has now been updated, and
Bill is acknowledged together with Sam Clements and Bonnie
Taylor-Blake. The updated article should be visible now or within 24

Quote Origin: Not a Book To Be Lightly Thrown Aside. Should Be Thrown
with Great Force

[Begin acknowledgement]
Many thanks to Bill Mullins who deserves credit for solving this
long-standing mystery by locating the crucial citation in the 1929
book “To You I Tell It” by Bill Miller. Mullins also located the
December 1929 book review by Frank MacDonell which unequivocally
indicated that Bill Miller created the quip. Special thanks to Sam
Clements and Bonnie Taylor-Blake who explored this saying and found
the important citation in the Oakland Tribune on April 4, 1960 along
with the citation to Cerf’s column. Thanks also to the participants in
discussions about this quotation at the Snopes website and the
Straight Dope website which took place in years past. Thanks to
writersalmanac.org which posted an article that included the Parker
quotation in the 1928 citation.
[End acknowledgement]


On Sun, May 7, 2023 at 2:20 AM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Fantastic discovery, Bill.
> The 1958 citation in the QI article was written by Sid Ziff, and he
> said that the barb was aimed at Bill Miller’s book "To You I Tell It".
> Ziff did not state who wrote the barb. Ziff just said that the barb
> was written by a "critic".
> So the 1958 citation named the same book that was mentioned by Frank
> McDonell in 1929.
> As Bill Mullins noted, McDonell thought that Bill Miller concocted the
> humorous recommendations himself. I think McDonell is correct. The
> recommendations are satirical and they were created by Bill Miller.
> Miller placed them into his 1929 book.
> I think the evidence Bill Mullins has uncovered enables the solution
> of this mystery.
> Garson
> On Sun, May 7, 2023 at 12:48 AM Bill Mullins <amcombill at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > [Sorry for double-posting; somehow I hit "send" before finishing.  Here's the competed version - - ]
> >
> > Garson has investigated this quote, often attributed to Dorothy Parker, on his Quote Investigator page:
> >
> > https://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/03/26/great-force/
> >
> > He did not find it prior to 1958, and sees no reason to attribute it to Parker.
> >
> > I recently ran across it in Frank McDonell's sports column in the Detroit Times in 1929.  He was writing about a recent book by Bill Miller, To You I Tell It, a collection of columns written by Miller in the Manilla P.I Daily Bulletin, where he had been sports editor.  Miller includes a list of endorsements in the book.  McDonell says "[Miller] wrote the recommendations himself", so it's not clear if the recommendations are legitimate, or are made-up in the names of those quoted.  The book is humorous, so either is certainly possible.  The "recommendations" come from names i recognize (Ed Sullivan, Damon Runyon, John J. Pershing), and others I don't.  The one under discussion here is from Frank Dolan, who was a writer for the NY Daily News.
> >
> > 1929 Detroit Times 14 Dec 11/1 (geneaologybank)
> >
> > Frank Dolan, New York -- Not a book to be lightly thrown aside.  It should be thrown with great force.
> >
> > There's a copy of the book for sale on Etsy:
> >
> > https://www.etsy.com/fi-en/listing/794241145/1929-to-you-i-tell-it-hardback-by-bill
> >
> > and the page with the recommendation is pictured:
> >
> > https://i.etsystatic.com/6772315/r/il/816aec/2312053667/il_1588xN.2312053667_qcir.jpg
> >
> > Your guess is as good as mine if the quote should be attributed to Miller or Dolan, depending on whether the blurbs are legitimate or not.
> >
> > The copyright catalogue for that year shows the date of publication to be Dec 16, so McDonell's column is the first place known that the quotation appears in print (although obviously the book was in some sort of circulation prior to that date; review copies were often released prior to "official" publication dates).
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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