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27 juin 2013

Holy cow! Did you know that the real author of Roget’s Thesaurus was…

Classé dans : Langue, Sciences, techniques — Miklos @ 14:49

Upon searching for the earliest occur­rences of the interjection Holy cow! (not to be confused with the sacred Indian mammal), one might be amazed to discover, courtesy of Google Books, that it was already present in Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, a 1623 work of prose by the great English poet John Donne (whose magnificent, elegiac, Go and catch a falling star we quoted in extenso a few years ago). Additional surprise, the parallel title of this collection of peculiar devotions is “Roget’s Thesaurus”, as exemplified below.

While Donne has also been known for his erotic poetry, it is quite surprising to see him use such foul (“vulg.”) language as Holy shit!

But poets will be poets, and Google metadata will be Google metadata…

Click to enlarge.

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