[Ads-l] RES: Quote: Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Request help accessing Harvard Alumni Bulletin in 1963

David Daniel dad at COARSECOURSES.COM
Sun Sep 24 10:44:19 UTC 2023

Back in the early 90s I added one to this: Time flies like an arrow. Fruit
flies like a banana. Snag flies like a pro. 

-----Mensagem original-----
De: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] Em nome de
ADSGarson O'Toole
Enviada em: sábado, 23 de setembro de 2023 20:24
Assunto: Quote: Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Request
help accessing Harvard Alumni Bulletin in 1963

Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Quote: Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
              Request help accessing Harvard Alumni Bulletin in 1963

Way back in 2010 there was a discussion on this list about the expression in
the subject line. Also, in 2010 I created an article on this topic. Now, I
plan to revise the article. The line has been attributed to Groucho Marx,
but he probably did not say it.


Your help is requested to access a volume of the "Harvard Alumni Bulletin"
and to verify a pertinent Google snippet match. The goal is to obtain a
complete and accurate citation. Here is the incomplete unverified data:

Year: 1963
Periodical: Harvard Alumni Bulletin
Quote Page 205


[Begin excerpt]
These possibilities do not make
much sense to a human; but they are
syntactically correct, and the com-
puter blindly produces all of these
simply because it has not been taught,
for example, that there is no such
species of fly as "time flies." The
computer could be "trained," of
course, not to parse such a sentence
the way it did. But then the machine
could not correctly handle a sentence
like "Fruit flies like bananas."
[End excerpt]

Here is a list of the desired metadata: Periodical name, year, month,
article title, article author, publisher, start page of the article, page
number of the quotation. It would be nice to have scans or photos
showing: the full article containing the quotation, the periodical name, the
publisher, the month, the year.

The revised QI article will present some additional citations.

Bill Mullins kindly sent me a valuable lead, a pointer to a book page that
listed a citation in Fortune magazine. The citation was dated May 1960;
however, my attempt to verify the citation has led me to conclude that the
year 1960 is incorrect. Instead, the pertinent passage appeared in Fortune
magazine in May 1964.

[ref] 1964 May, Fortune, Machines That Man Can Talk With by John Pfeiffer,
Start Page 153, Quote Page 194, (Series: Part III: The Boundless Age of the
Computer) Time Inc., Chicago, Illinois. (Verified with scans) [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Conversations between man and machine will always be somewhat stilted until
we have a computer that can understand idioms and interpret the particular
meaning of a word or a sentence with several possible meanings. This is
still a long way off, but a program written by Anthony Oettinger and Susumu
Kuno of Harvard=E2=80=99s Computation Laborato= ry permits a computer to
list all possible meanings.

=E2=80=9CTime flies like an arrow=E2=80=9D may seem fairly straightforward =
to us, but a machine sees a number of other possibilities=E2=80=94for
example, =E2=80= =9CTime the speed of flies as quickly as you can=E2=80=9D
(=E2=80=9Ctime=E2=80=9D being=  interpreted as a verb rather than a noun)
and =E2=80=9CCertain flies enjoy an arrow=E2=80=9D=  (=E2=80=9Ctime=E2=80=9D
being interpreted as an adjective, and =E2=80=9Clike=E2=80=9D being interpr=
eted as a verb). The machine could be instructed to rule out these
particular offbeat parsings, but how would it handle the sentence,
=E2=80=9CFruit flie= s like bananas=E2=80=9D? Problems of semantics continue
to plague investigato= rs concerned with advanced man-machine
[End excerpt]


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

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

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