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#117311 - 12/14/03 11:28 AM Re: Untangling the Macaroni?
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Ahhh, so Macaroni was Frencified form of dandyism and the use of Macaroni "style" by colonists was a yokel attempt to be fashionable
Now in the article the author says :
The entire Yankee Doodle lyric, one of America's most beloved patriotic songs, is a joke at the expense of the Colonists.
So it seems to me that the Yankee Doddle Song, written to ridicule the American colonists was adopted by them and made their own.
Nice trick! Make it your own and take the sting out of it.

#117312 - 12/14/03 11:42 PM Re: "pot-boilers"
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Quinion seems to think it originated over your side of the pond: http://www.quinion.com/words/qa/qa-pot1.htm


#117313 - 12/15/03 07:22 AM Hitting a "ton"
grapho Offline

Registered: 11/09/03
Posts: 619
Loc: Carpal Tunnel Country
What is the source or etymology of this use of "ton"? Is it merely idiomatic?

Here in North America, "ton" is used to describe a massive hit in baseball, usually a home run traveling in the range of 500 feet.

Here's a typical example quoted in a column in the Miami Herald a couple of months ago:

"Sammy Sosa hit a home run that traveled an estimated 495 feet but surely will be upgraded beyond 500 feet, maybe even a mile or two, in the years to come. ''I thought it went out of the whole park,'' Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. ''He hit that ball a ton.'' Said Sosa: ``That was the right moment to hit that ball.''

Complete article:

#117314 - 12/15/03 08:12 AM Re: "pot-boilers"
Capfka Offline

Registered: 06/28/02
Posts: 1624
Loc: Utter Placebo, Planet Reebok
Hard to say - just because it only appeared in the OED a little later doesn't mean to say that it wasn't around prior to that.

I've always understood it to mean "something done to fund something more interesting and possibly superior but which will take longer to complete" which doesn't entirely disagree with the COD's definition or Quinion's explanation.

I've never considered whether it was an Americanism or not. Given that it appeared to emerge during the mid-19th century, the chances are that while it obviously was coined on one side of the pond or the other, it may have become common on both sides fairly quickly, given the literary interchange between the two countries about that time.

Interesting, though, that Quinion's quote talks about paintings, where I had only ever heard it used in relation to literature.

Well, as they say, you live and you learn!

#117315 - 12/15/03 10:33 PM Re: "the ton"?
stales Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 866
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
FWIW - 100 degrees Fahrenheit used to be referred to as "the ton" before we in Oz went metric. Hence when the weather was hot one said, "It's going to hit the ton today".

Nowadays, 38 degrees C is often referred to by those of us that dwell in the past as being "the old ton".

In cricketing circles, when not using the more correct form of "a century" in reference to 100 runs, one may hear that such and such a batsman "hit (or got) a ton". Never "the" ton.


#117316 - 12/15/03 10:57 PM What goes around ...
grapho Offline

Registered: 11/09/03
Posts: 619
Loc: Carpal Tunnel Country
I've never considered whether it was an Americanism or not.

On the other hand, Americans never considered whether it was a Euroism or not.

Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. ''He hit that ball a ton.''.

What goes around [the pond], comes around [the pond]. :)

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