Posted By: wwh

anon - 11/12/03 01:21 PM

I was surprised to learn that first dictionary definition of "anon" is "at another time". I challenge members to find a quote in which it has this meaning.

Posted By: dxb

Re: anon - 11/12/03 01:38 PM

How about this, Dr Bill, from Shakespeares Henry IV Part 2 where it is used twice within a few lines:

Ah, sirrah! quoth-a, we shall
Do nothing but eat, and make good cheer,


And praise God for the merry year;
When flesh is cheap and females dear,
And lusty lads roam here and there
So merrily,
And ever among so merrily.

There's a merry heart! Good Master Silence, I'll
give you a health for that anon.

Give Master Bardolph some wine, Davy.

Sweet sir, sit; I'll be with you anon. Most sweet
sir, sit. Master page, good master page, sit.

Posted By: wwh

Re: anon - 11/12/03 01:58 PM

Dear dxb: in my youth and inexperience, in both of those quotes I interpret both of those uses of "anon" as meaning "soon". Not "next week" or something.

P.S. I looked, but found no one else saying "I'll pay you anon." That could mean "when I find a gold mine."
Posted By: dxb

Re: anon - 11/12/03 02:43 PM

Well, I must agree that I haven't encountered it used to mean 'at another time' in the sense of a distant time.

Here's another example from William Morris's "The Well at the World's End":

"... because there was no man that beheld her,
but anon he was the thrall of her love, and might not pluck
his heart away from her to do any of the deeds whereby men
thrive and win the praise of the people."

Anon refers to an indefinite time, but not too far ahead, the exact length of time depending on the context. I dare say one would expect that Shakespeare's servant would come to hand more quickly than Morris's swain would fall in love. (Mind you, I have felt myself growing older while waiting to be served in some restaurants.)

Posted By: Jackie

Re: anon - 11/13/03 01:35 AM

Howdy, gents. Gurunet has:
a·non (ə-nŏn')

1. At another time; later.
2. In a short time; soon.
3. Archaic. At once; forthwith.
ever (or now) and anon

Time after time; now and then.

[Middle English, at once, from Old English on ân : on, in; see on + ân, one.]

Posted By: dxb

Re: anon - 11/13/03 04:09 PM

Right, thanks Jackie. Shakespeare could have been using either meaning 2 or 3, Morris would have been using meaning 2. We still haven't found an example that is unequivocally using meaning 1.

Posted By: tsuwm

Re: anon - 11/13/03 05:54 PM

1606 SHAKES. Ant. & Cl. II. vii. 45 Forbeare me till anon. 1610 Temp. II. ii. 84 Thou do'st me yet but little hurt; thou wilt anon. 1656 COWLEY Mistress Wks. 1710 I. 124 Leading them still insensibly on By the strange Witchcraft of Anon. 1661 BOYLE Spring of Air I. ii. (1682) 3 The answering of this we shall suspend until anon. 1661 PEPYS Diary 15 Sept., To put things in order against anon for the buriall. 1719 D'URFEY Pills (1872) IV. 352 Take not the first Refusal ill, Tho' now she wont, anon she will. 1858 SEARS Athan. vii. 59 We dream now, we shall wake anon.

Posted By: wwh

Re: anon - 11/13/03 06:01 PM

Dear tsuwm: some very good examples that do indeed mean an appreciable postponement. As a feeble jest, one of them seems to the work of Anonymous:
"Leading them still insensibly on By the strange Witchcraft of Anon. 1661 "

Posted By: tsuwm

Re: anon - 11/13/03 06:04 PM

feeble indeed; the date 1661 belongs with the next citation; the quote belongs to Cowley (1656), from his poem Against Hope.

Posted By: AnnaStrophic

Re: anon - 11/13/03 06:04 PM

By the strange Witchcraft of Anon.


Edit: tsuwm, you must have left your sense of humor in your *other suit.

Posted By: tsuwm

Re: anon - 11/13/03 06:09 PM

ASp, see the link added above.

Posted By: wwh

Re: anon - 11/13/03 06:23 PM

Dear tsuwm: thanks for turning a mediocre post of mine into something interesting.

Posted By: TheFallibleFiend

Re: anon - 11/13/03 06:39 PM

From my favorite poet, Omar Khayyam, a small copy of whose Rubaiyat I carry everywhere:

  The Worldly Hope men set their hearts upon
Turns ashes, or it prospers; and anon,
Like snow upon the desert's dusty face,
Lighting a little hour or two - is gone.


Posted By: wwh

Re: anon - 11/13/03 07:05 PM

Thanks for that FF. I have always wondered how much of the charm of those verses was in the original, and how much
was added by the translator.

Posted By: TheFallibleFiend

Re: anon - 11/13/03 08:00 PM

I had several Persian friends back in college. They told me that they really liked the English translations of Fitzgerald, but that even those only captured about 70% of the essence. My own experience at translation has been limited to high school latin and undergraduate german, but I've read translations of Chinese poems, among others. Despite my limited experience, I think 70% (to the extent that percentages are an appropriate metaphor) is extremely good.


Posted By: wwh

Re: anon - 11/13/03 08:25 PM

The cliché of clichés is "much is lost in translation".
And good poetry is inherently more fragile than prose.
Thanks for your comments. I didn't even know what "Rubaiyat" meant until about a year ago. But ever since I found a forgotten copy of it in my mother's desk, I have enjoyed it.

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu

Re: anon - 11/14/03 12:40 PM


it doesn't mean "big red boat"?

<trying to remain anon...>

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