Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#70785 - 05/21/02 09:14 PM Misquoted improvements
Vernon Compton Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/01
Posts: 273
Loc: NZ
In another thread, someone said that, "we've also referred to the storm and the fury signifying nothing...". Many famous phrases end up getting misremembered, as may have happened with the above quote. With "alas, poor Yorrick I knew him well, "Lead on, MacDuff" and "foul swoop", among others, Francis has certainly been the victim of more than his fair share of them. There are others, though, "elementary, my dear Watson", "play it again Sam". Does anybody consider that any misquotes they are aware of improve on the original?


Top
#70786 - 05/21/02 09:47 PM Re: Misquoted improvements
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Often heard years ago in New England: 'Cleanliness is next to godliness, and order is Heaven's first law."
The first half is attributed to John Wesley, second half unknown. But my mother always said both parts.
She obviously thought it an improvement.

Then the little boy tempted by the cookie jar, who said: " Get thee behind me Satan, and push!" thought he was making an improvement.


Top
#70787 - 05/21/02 11:28 PM Re: Misquoted with no improvements
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
Mark Twain is one of my favorite authors, and one of my pet literary peeves is to see his classic quote, Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated, which captures so well the essence of his humor, show up more and more as the drab, Rumours of my death are exaggerated, or worse, Reports of my death are exaggerated...changing this is an insult to the author, the style and originality of his wit, and to his audience. As Twain himself once said, "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug,"


Top
#70788 - 05/22/02 07:31 AM Hymn changes
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
changing this is an insult to the author, the style and originality
Sweet WO'N, I feel the same way about changes that appeared when the last Methodist Hymnal came out. Somebody must have called the PC police. Where the original said something about "all men", for ex., the new version might have "people". I would prefer that the originals have stayed the same.


Top
#70789 - 05/22/02 07:36 AM Re: Hymn changes
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
Jackie,
Faldage would tell you that "men" used to mean people.
But he's unavailable right now.


Top
#70790 - 05/22/02 07:41 AM Re: Hymn changes
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
Methodist Hymnal

I agree! (Except the book in my case is the CBW III = Catholic Book of Worship III) The funniest thing is that half the songs, people know by heart, with the old words, and then you get the person up front, leading the singing, with the new words, and general confusion and mumbling during the lines that have been changed. Even though the new words are right in front of us.

There was a song we used to joke about (when I was a silly all-girls Catholic school type, it was:
Whatsoever you do, to the least of my brothers...
[more lines + verse]... Now enter into the home of my father


The first line was changed to:
Whatsoever you do, to the least of my people
And we, being silly high-school girls that we are, changed the last line to
Now enter into the home of my parents

Well, we thought it was funny at the time!


Top
#70791 - 05/22/02 07:42 AM Re: Hymn changes
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
Faldage would tell you that "men" used to mean people.

Yeah, I know that! But try telling that to the losers who decided the songs should be re-worked...


Top
#70792 - 05/22/02 07:44 AM Re: Hymn changes
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
I'm with you on that, Bean ol' girl... I mean person.


Top
#70793 - 05/22/02 08:06 AM Re: Hymn changes
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
[rant]
Yes "men" used to mean people, because for all intents and purposes, in many societies in the past, woman and children were chattel. mere possessions. less than full citizens..

even the US, we counted men, women and children in the census, and counted (to our shame) slaves as 2/3 of a person.
after the civil war, with the emancipation, there was no great joy in giving the franchise to vote to former slaves, but it was an easier thing to do than to give woman the right to vote. (its easier to go from 2/3 of a person to full person hood, than it is to go from men really equaling people and including women!)

endless years of this, and many women are a bit sensitive about the idea that 'men' or 'man' means 'people'... it meant 'people' only because women didn't 'count' in the men (of that time) views. we were better than animals, but not better than children.

No one would think "white male" could be used to generically define all males in America-- all males in America are not white. but somehow, women are hysterical when they object to men being used to as people.
[/rant]

_________________________
my other obsession

Top
#70794 - 05/22/02 08:36 AM Re: Hymn changes
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
endless years of this, and many women are a bit sensitive about the idea that 'men' or 'man' means 'people'

Yeah, but lots of women aren't too incensed about it. Me included. That's all I was trying to say. I'm aware of the history of it.


Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8689 Members
16 Forums
13783 Topics
213067 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
defghi260699, scrabnut, sa'a, csmoore, Jane Luckner
8689 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 23 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
wofahulicodoc 80
endymion6 58
LukeJavan8 58
jenny jenny 52
Tromboniator 13
Faldage 5
MR LOGOPHILE 1
csmoore 1
Mercur10 1
A C Bowden 1
April
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 2014 Wordsmith