Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 10:47:10 -0500 From: Mark Mandel Subject: "I vas dere" >>> Thomas Creswell >>> 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 it.) 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 :