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Chapter & Verse

A correspondence corner for not-so-famous lost words

September-October 2004

James MacKillop writes, "The quotation, 'The map appears to us more real than the land' (sometimes misquoted as 'The map appears to be...') is often ascribed to D.H. Lawrence. It is not, however, to be found in his published works. Might it have come from an interview or an unpublished work?" Can someone provide a full citation?


John Palmer hopes someone can identify "a truly haunting short story" about a boy who at night could hear the "long ah" of the ocean surf far below his bedroom window and who read a fascinating book that was the focus of the story. The story opens with the line: "It was a [?] book, bound in red buckram."

"the writs of Antigua" (July-August). Hiller Zobel and William Boyan were the first to note that the correct reference is to the island of Tobago, and that the judicial body in question was the Court of King's Bench, not Admiralty. The chief justice, Lord Ellenborough, declared, "Can the island of Tobago pass a law to bind the rights of the whole world?" in setting aside a judgment of that island's court against a nonresident. The citation is Buchanan v. Rucker 9 East 192 (K.B. 1808).

"snatching...skywest and crooked" (July-August). From North Carolina, Jerry Leath Mills offered, "Here in the South we are always threatening (usually only rhetorically) to snatch somebody one way or another. The most frequent form of this locution is 'I'm going to snatch you baldheaded' (i.e., out from under your own hair). Also common is 'I'm going to snatch you 40 ways from last Tuesday.' Perhaps closer to the queried phrase is 'I'm going to snatch you sy-goggling'—i.e., so violently it will leave you walking crooked or catty-cornered as opposed to straight. I think 'skywest and crooked' would constitute a genuine sy-goggling direction."


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