Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 10:47:10 -0500


Subject: "I vas dere"

Thomas Creswell creswell[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CROWN.NET

I remember a radio program in the 30's featuring "Baron Munchausen"-- an inspired liar. When

his interlocutor, Charley,

expressed doubt about one of his tales, the Baron would always say," Vas you dere, Charley?"

I've seen this question in print, used in the same way -- to answer a doubter's challenge to a story.

I *think* that I saw it

as "... Sharley?", but I'm not sure. The line occurred in dialogue, and I believe it was in

quotes-within-quotes --

" 'Vas you dere, Sharley?' " --

to show that the speaker was consciously using a quotation.

I have a strong feeling that the author was Robert A. Heinlein, who could very well have been a

fan of the radio

program, and the book may have been _The Number of the Beast_. My impulse is to, when I get

home tonight, grab it and

sit down to find the quotation, but I have done MUCH TOO MUCH of that lately (especially with

Steven K.Z. Brust's

"Dragaera" books*), and I know I'd damn well better not. (The book is 500 pages and would

keep me up till 3 am if I let


Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200

320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :

Personal home page:

* Dragaera observations :