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#2502 - 05/17/00 12:34 PM 1875 English
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
During 1999 and 2000, our newspaper has been reprinting articles from the past. There is a sentence in today's that
I cannot comprehend. It is: "It was made up of every element; but place aux dames et demoiselles before the pen
shall treat of another feature."
The article was about the running of the first Kentucky
Derby. Immediately preceding the sentence was an estimate
of the crowd's numbers. Immediately following the sentence,
and ending the article, was, "It is much, indeed, when attention and admiration mey be diverted from the prime
object which has gathered a great assemblage together, but not the Derby itself, with its absorbing interest and excitement, will linger so long in the minds of the
spectator there."
WHEW!! With difficulty, I navigated (I think) the
meaning of the ending sentence, but that other one confounds
me. I know that aux is the French plural for 'at the' or
'to the', but even so I don't get what the writer means.
I would appreciate anyone's suggestions on this.

#2503 - 05/17/00 06:03 PM Re: 1875 English
lusy Offline

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 140
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
It's certainly a weird sentence, Jackie, but could we be looking at a typo here? "Place" instead of "pace", the latter having been used in the sense of "by your leave"? The whole sentence could then perhaps be paraphrased as: "The large crowd was made up of every element, but I must beg the pardon of the (beautiful) ladies, before I write of anything else."

#2504 - 05/18/00 09:06 AM Re: 1875 English
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Sounds good to me, Lusy, thanks.
Our newspaper had "place"--no way to tell if that was an
old or new typo. Besides the fact that I often actually
learn something, the flowery, convoluted sentences in
these older articles fascinate me as I compare them to the
typical usage of today.


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