Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category

Whose quote?

April 10, 2015

Today’s NYT has a nice op-ed piece (“The Wise Words of Maya Angelou. Or Someone, Anyway.”) by lexicographer Erin McKean about quotes and their attributions, on the occasion of the new US stamp honoring Maya Angelou:


One more from Jane

January 21, 2015

From Jane Austen to her niece Fanny Knight, November 18, 1814:

Note that Austen personifies Wit as a woman.

(Thanks to Chris Ambidge.)

“just happy to see me”

December 3, 2014

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm:

A play on a famous fugitive quotation, widely attributed to Mae West but never actually traced to her.


A Xmas penguin, and Jane Austen

November 2, 2014

Two recent items in my mail from Chris Ambidge (both entirely G-rated): a Xmas penguin, and a quotation from Jane Austen:




Austenian humblebragging?

August 20, 2014

Another quotation from Jane Austen (once again via Chris Ambidge), this time from a letter of 11 December 1815 to James Stanier Clarke, about Austen’s novel Emma.

Surely this is false modesty — and couched as a boast, so that it looks like what we’d now call humblebragging.


Jane spends our money

July 24, 2014

(Not about language, but another entertaining quotation from Jane Austen, passed on to me by Chris Ambidge.)


From a letter of April 18, 1811, from Jane to her elder sister Cassandra.

Jane on correspondents

July 6, 2014

Another quotation postcard from Jane Austen (from Chris Ambidge), this time with some genuine linguistic interest:

Chris disagreed with the quotation (he and I are dependable correspondents, at least for one another) — but then this is not an expression of Jane’s own opinion, but a statement by one of her characters, which is quite a different thing. From Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon, which is about (among other things) the creation of a new English seaside town in the early 19th century.


Two cards

May 29, 2014

On Tuesday, Ned Deily and I were investigating the workings of my scanner, after it had behaved  oddly for me on several occasions (garbage on scanning some black-and-white images, very odd colors when scanning some Jane Austen colored cards). The problem was traced back to some scanner settings I hadn’t known were there, so we re-set those and tried scanning one card of each type, using items I’d gotten in the mail (from Chris Ambidge). Herewith the results.


Jane on Xmas Eve

May 19, 2014

Another quotation from Jane Austen (again, thanks to Chris Ambidge) — this time from a letter written on Xmas Eve 1798:


Chris reminds me that Jane Austen was the daughter of a parish priest, which (I suppose) would put her in a postion to long for release from being agreeable, especially in seasons of celebration..

Jane Austen speaks again

May 10, 2014

More quotations from Jane Austen (passed on by Chris Ambidge). As before, not much linguistics.

From Mansfield Park:


And from Emma:


Oh my, foolish preparation, draining the actual event.


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