End of ADS-L Digest - 3 Aug 1997 to 4 Aug 1997 ********************************************** Subject: ADS-L Digest - 4 Aug 1997 to 5 Aug 1997 There are 10 messages totalling 451 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Coital Amnesia; 5 & 10; HBO/Pay-TV; Fax; Bits, Bytes, Bugs; Supermodels 2. Vocalized /l/ 3. Collected responses to question 4. Informants (3) 5. HBO and TV (2) 6. New Books: Dialectology 7. Start/Begin ??? ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 07:51:39 -0400 From: "Barry A. Popik" Subject: Coital Amnesia; 5 & 10; HBO/Pay-TV; Fax; Bits, Bytes, Bugs; Supermodels COITAL AMNESIA This has to be the word-of-the-year. I heard it today on WCBS newsradio. Scientists are studying "coital amnesia"--people who forget while having sex, or after sex. Often, this involves forgetting the partner's name, but sometimes the subjects forget everything. BILL CLINTON: Everything? I tried tracing the phrase on Infotrax and the web, but it's not there yet. A few good Leno and Letterman jokes and a well-distributed wire story can do the trick. MARV ALBERT: They forget everything? One of the sufferers didn't even know who he was. RUDY GIULIANI: I don't recall ever having an affair with my press secretary, whatever her name is! Gotta help out science. How do you volunteer for these studies? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- WOOLWORTH'S (5 & 10 CENT STORE) I walked into a Woolworth's recently and everything was on sale. The entire chain is going out of business in the United States. Woolworth's was the "five and ten cent store" where you could find a million-dollar baby. "Nickel and dime" later became derogatory. The DICTIONARY OF AMERICANISMS has a 1940 Saturday Evening Post citation that gives "'Woolworth Bros. 5 & 10 Cent Store" to 1880. This is indeed correct. According to SKYLINE QUEEN AND THE MERCHANT PRINCE: THE WOOLWORTH STORY by John P. Nichols (1973), Frank W. Woolworth began selling "Yankee notions" at a county fair for five cents each. This was so successful that on 22 February 1879 in Utica, New York, Woolworth opened his first "Great 5-cent Store." In 1880, the store at 170 North Queen Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania became his first Five-and-Ten. I've always been a fan of New York City's Woolworth Building. I told them I was serious about buying it and had lots of change in my pants. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------- HBO, PAY-TV "GARTH LIVE FROM CENTRAL PARK Thursday, August 7, 8 PM ET/PT HBO IT'S NOT TV. IT'S HBO." HBO is not tv?? What is it, a frog? OED has "pay television=pay-TV" from 1957. It also lists "pay-as-you-use" or "pay-as-you-see" or "pay-as-you-view" television, citing the 1956 Britannica Book of the Year, 492/2, "Also introduced from the United States--though not yet fully accepted into British English--were such expressions as Pay TV...." The big debate on this occurred in 1955. Newsweek for 21 February 1955, pg. 28, "COMMUNICATIONS: Pay-TV Coming?" begins: "Pay-as-you-see television moved a bit closer to the air waves last week. The Federal Communications Commission requested all interested groups and persons to submit their views on it by May 9." Newsweek ran large articles on Pay-TV on February 28th and May 23rd. Sports took an early interest. This is from The Sporting News, 6 October 1954, pg. 16, col. 1, "Quotes," by Gene Kessler of the Chicago Sun-Times: FCC Urged to Sanction Pay-as-You-See-TV (...) The only logical answer to this problem, which threatens the existence of our major sports, is pay-as-you-see television. From our tests and from independent surveys, we know the public is willing to pay for sports telecasts. And with the kind of home box office that subscription television can provide all concerned will benefit. There it is! "Home box office" in 1954! Subscription television!! TV!!!! Party on, Garth! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------- FAX OED's first citation is Time, 12 Jan. 1948, "The big news about 'fax' was that, technically, the bugs were pretty well worked out of it." Newsweek, 7 July 1947, pg. 53, col. 3, "SCIENCE: Faster Facsimile" details the new "ultrafax" system by the Radio Corp. of America laboratories at Princeton, NJ. Newsweek, 1 November 1948, pg. 50, had articles on "Ultra-Fast Ultrafax" and "And Now Xerography." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------- BITS, BYTES, BUGS A few weeks ago, I believe William Safire asked readers about "byte." This is very surprising, because the derivations of "bits" and "bytes" are well known (although still incomplete in OED). ANNALS OF THE HISTORY OF COMPUTING, vol. 10, no. 4, 1989, pp. 336-342 groups together its articles on "bit" (from April 1984), "byte" (from January 1981, reprinted from BYTE of February 1977), and "bug" (from July 1981, April 1984, and October 1984). "Bit" is from "binary digit" was spread from the BELL SYSTEM TECHNICAL JOURNAL in 1948, although a 9 January 1947 Bell Labs memorandum also had the word. "Byte" is a grouping of bits and had its first published reference in 1959. The spelling was made to avoid accidental mutation of "bite" to "bit." "Bugs" date at least as far back as Thomas Alva Edison in 1878. Allegedly, a real bug--a moth--got into a Navy computer in the summer of 1945, and the computer required "debugging." Fred Shapiro contributed his bugs to the April 1984 ANNALS. In The Sporting News, 17 November 1954, pg. 16, col. 2, "From the Ruhl Book" by Oscar Ruhl, the baseball column ends with a familiar "Bits and Bites--Begged, Borrowed." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------- SUPERMODELS I'll never trust Howard Stern on etymology again. Here goes: 30 June 1972, LIFE, pg. 73, cols. 1-4. "The many faces of the No. 1 model in the world." Evelyn Kuhn is "the highest-paid model in the world," but NO "supermodel." 17 August 1975, NY TIMES MAGAZINE, pg. 12, cols. 1-2. "'I'm the biggest model, period'/Great face, great figure, great personality, the supergirl next door insists she's more than just the biggest _black_ model in the business." Alas, Beverly Johnson is merely "supergirl." She states that she aspires to become a "millionette." 30 June 1975, NEWSWEEK, pg. 41, col. 2. "Supermodel _Margaux Hemingway_...." 3 November 1975, NEWSWEEK, pg. 46, col. 1. "A 6-foot 1-inch supermodel shouldn't have to go to such lengths to stop traffic, so what was fashion star _Veruschka_ up to, perched on a chair in the middle of Manhattan's Fifth Avenue...." 13 March 1978, NEWSWEEK, pg. 57, col. 3. "But others see Shelley (Hack) up there with the supermodels, and Columbia Pictures has decided a pinup poster is in order." 10 April 1978, NEWSWEEK, pg. 3, col. 2. "Supermodel Matt Collins." The story on page 104 has "Such supermodels as the sultry, sunken-cheeked Matt Collins." On a page 61 story about Mariel Hemingway, "Now it's her All-American wholesomeness that convinces photographer Patrick Demarchelier that it's 'supermodel.'" 24 April 1978, NEWSWEEK, pg. 73, col. 3. "Supermodel Pat Cleveland...." 28 May 1979, NEWSWEEK, pg. 65, col. 2. "...supermodel Cheryl Tiegs..." For some reason, "supermodel" was in Newsweek's stylebook, and not other magazines such as Time or People. More checking found this: Naomi Sims: Super Model Vogue 159:122-5 June 1972 I was in New City today to speak with an accountant for my family's estate, and I visited the New City Public Library. They didn't have Vogue for 1972, but the Finkelstein Public Library in Spring Valley had Vogue from 1967! I drove to the family house in Spring Valley, and then the library. Vogue wasn't on microfilm--they still had the actual copies! The kid came back with the slip. It was that long, familiar walk, with my library request slip in his hands. "Not on shelf." They knew I was coming.