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Woody Wordpecker

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Jan 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/3/96
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M> From: mis...@scripps.edu (Mark Israel) ("M>")
M> Subject: git

M> In article <4b06r5$t...@news.atlantech.net>,
M> wyatt...@atlantech.net (Wyatt Copple) writes: ("W>")

M>W> The over reliance on dictionary definitions of various words
M>W> is appalling. Dictionaries are no more than guide books. They
M>W> are often at odds with how people use language.

M> Hear, hear!

Someone (I think it was an ancient Greek) counseled
"moderation in all things". In my opinion, WC's remark (and MI's
exuberant approval of it) didn't show due moderation. While
dictionaries are sometimes behind the times or somewhat
inaccurate, and on rare occasions dead wrong, I think they are in
general reliable reporters of how language is used.

At any rate, given a choice between believing what I see in a
dictionary or what I hear from an individual, I would far rather
put my trust in the dictionary, unless the individual can back up
his or her statement based on resources comparable to those
available to the lexicographers.

M> In article <95121806...@mogur.com>,
M> woody.wo...@mogur.com (Bob Cunningham)
M> writes: ("B>")

M>B> 3. WC's disparagement of dictionaries should not be taken as
M>B> the last word on the subject. When WC tells us what he
M>B> thinks about the word "goy" we have the opinion of a single
M>B> person who may or may not have investigated the question
M>B> carefully. In dictionary definitions we still get the
M>B> opinions of individuals, but it is more likely that those
M>B> opinions are based on careful investigation.

M> In article <1995Dec29.1...@lafn.org>,
M> ad...@lafn.org (Bob Cunningham) writes:

M>B> I would never say "get" any other way than "git" unless I
M>B> was speaking quite carefully and self-consciously.
M>B>
M>B> My guess would be that more Usonians pronounce "get" that
M>B> way than not.

M> Merriam-Webster gives both /gEt/ and /gIt/ as
M> pronunciations of "get", but puts /gEt/ first.

Those who bother to read the explanatory material at the
front of dictionaries know that you can't always infer preference
from order of presentation. Merriam-Webster (MWCD10 page 12a) in
particular clearly state the rules for inferring the frequency of
use and acceptability of variants. A variant that's shown second
isn't considered less common unless it's preceded by the word
"also" (or "sometimes" if it's much less common). A variant is
not considered less acceptable than another unless it's preceded
by the division sign.

M> Random House, Webster's New World, and American Heritage
M> dictionaries give only /gEt/.

M> Bob's guess about how most Americans pronounce "get" should
M> not be taken as the last word on the subject.

Who would be so foolish as to take anyone's *guess* as the
last word on any subject?

[...]

M> If Merriam-Webster thought /gIt/ was more common, they
M> would put it first.

I didn't say *they* thought it was more common. I said *I*
*guessed* that it was more common. For all I know and for all
anyone can tell from their presentation, they may think the two
are about equally common, so they may not be far from agreeing
with my guess. My opinion is that this *may* be one of those
occasions when a dictionary is not entirely correct.

M> They're comfortable with putting a stigmatized pronunciation
M> first; see, for example, "February".

As the usage note under "February" explains, they *do* think
/feb y@ wE ri:/ (or "Febyooary") is more common than the
pronunciation that many find more acceptable. I think MI knows
this, but I mention it in case it's not clear to others.

- - -
BC | "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,
LA | adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
| With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do."
| -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
| :-)


cc: WYATT...@ATLANTECH.NET in 1000 on MOGUR

---
* RM 1.3 00847 * But officer! I was only going one way!

Woody Wordpecker

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Jan 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/3/96
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*** Caveat Lector ***

This article contains remarks that some people might construe
to be flames. Reader discretion is advised.

*********************

MI> From: mis...@scripps.edu (Mark Israel)
MI> Subject: git

[...]

MI> In article <95122109...@mogur.com>,
MI> woody.wo...@mogur.com (Bob Cunningham) writes:

MI> > If a good portion (a substantial number) of people use or
MI> > pronounce a word a certain way, a good dictionary will report it.
MI> > That is what good dictionaries do.

MI> If that's true, then if Bob's guess about "get" is correct,
MI> "good dictionaries" must not exist at all!

That point, unlike many of MI's points, is well taken.

A careful investigator who after analyzing data is faced with
an absurd result will not state the result until he has retraced
his steps to find possible fault in his data or his analysis. In
this case the good investigator would have suspected that the data
was at fault; that is, that the person being quoted was not saying
exactly what he meant. Then, instead of the snotty remark that MI
made, he might have said to himself something like "BC must not
have meant exactly what he said. Maybe he is overstating his case
and means instead 'that is what dictionaries *normally* do'".


---
* RM 1.3 00847 * He who has had has been; he who hasn't been has been had.

Woody Wordpecker

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Jan 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/4/96
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MI> From: mis...@scripps.edu (Mark Israel)
MI> Subject: git

[...]

MI> In article <1995Dec29.1...@lafn.org>,
MI> ad...@lafn.org (Bob Cunningham) writes:

MI> > I would never say "get" any other way than "git" unless I
MI> > was speaking quite carefully and self-consciously.

MI> (Any votes for "unless I *were* speaking"?)

I haven't seen any responses to MI's question.

If anyone *is* thinking of voting for "were", I assume they
think the subjunctive is called for.

I quite often see "If it were" used in places where it
doesn't seem to be called for. I always assume that
hypercorrection is at work. Just as people say "for he and I"
because they think they should even though it doesn't sound right,
I think a lot of people use the subjunctive when there is no
reason to do so.

I have talked with people who may never have heard of the
subjunctive, but automatically follow "if ... " with "were".

As I understand the subjunctive, if I had said "unless I were
speaking quite carefully" it would have implied that I never speak
carefully so I would have implied a condition contrary to fact.

I know there are other reasons for using the subjunctive, but
I don't see how any of them apply here. Can anyone give me a
reason why I should have said "unless I were", and if so can you
tell me how I could say that while avoiding the implication that
the possibility of my speaking carefully is contrary to fact?

I suppose I could have said "unless I were speaking quite
carefully and self-consciously, which I sometimes do", but that
sounds self-contradictory to me.

Gregory Resch

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Jan 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/6/96
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woody.wo...@mogur.com (Woody Wordpecker) writes:
> Someone (I think it was an ancient Greek) counseled
> "moderation in all things"....

Although some ancient Greek may actually have said that (in Greek,
presumably), the attitude for which the ancient Greeks are collectively
known is more like this: "Everything, in moderation."

--

Mark Israel

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Jan 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/8/96
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From an old Dave Berg cartoon in Mad magazine:

A: Anyone who isn't a right-wing conservative like me is either a
communist or a damn foreigner.

B: I am not a right-wing conservative and I am neither a communist
nor a damn foreigner.

A: Oh, yeah? Well, suppose you tell me why you, as a supposedly
true-blue American, aren't a right-wing conservative.

B: Because it's too extreme! A certain great man once said,
"Moderation, all things in moderation."

A: Oh, yeah? And who was this so-called "great man"?

B: Socrates, the Greek philosopher.

A: You see? He was a damn foreigner!

--
mis...@scripps.edu Mark Israel

Mark Israel

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Jan 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/8/96
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In articles <96010402...@mogur.com> and <96010402...@mogur.com>, woody.wo...@mogur.com (Bob Cunningham) writes:
> In article <4c5mma$a...@riscsm.scripps.edu>, mis...@scripps.edu (Mark Israel) writes:

>> In article <4b06r5$t...@news.atlantech.net>, wyatt...@atlantech.net (Wyatt Copple) writes:

>>> The over reliance on dictionary definitions of various words

>>> is appalling. Dictionaries are no more than guide books. They

>>> are often at odds with how people use language.
>>

>> Hear, hear!
>
> [...] In my opinion, WC's remark (and MI's exuberant approval of


> it) didn't show due moderation.

What would a more moderate version of Wyatt's statement be? Ah,
I've got it: "The over-reliance on dictionary definitions of
various words is a little disappointing", right? :-)

> Merriam-Webster (MWCD10 page 12a) in particular clearly state the
> rules for inferring the frequency of use and acceptability of
> variants. A variant that's shown second isn't considered less
> common unless it's preceded by the word "also" (or "sometimes" if
> it's much less common). A variant is not considered less
> acceptable than another unless it's preceded by the division sign.

Your forgot the word "necessarily" before each of your
"considered"s.

MWCD10 says (p. 32a), "If evidence reveals that a particular
variant is used more frequently than another, the former will be
given first." The word "also" is used only for variants that are
"appreciably" less common (p. 12a).

As for the division sign, MWCD10 admits (p. 32a) that it is used
"sparingly".

> For all I know and for all anyone can tell from their presentation,

> they may think the two [pronunciations of "get", /gEt/ and /gIt/]
> are about equally common [...].

I have put the question to them. I'll pass along any response
I receive.

>> Random House, Webster's New World, and American Heritage

>> dictionaries give only /gEt/.
>
> [...] My opinion is that this *may* be one of those occasions when


> a dictionary is not entirely correct.

Please try to state your opinions accurately. You are guessing
that *all* U.S. dictionaries may be incorrect on this matter, not
just "a dictionary".

> As the usage note under "February" explains, they *do* think
> /feb y@ wE ri:/ (or "Febyooary") is more common than the
> pronunciation that many find more acceptable.

You mean /'fEb j@ wE ri:/. /feb y@ wE ri:/ is kind of
interesting, though. To me, it suggests some kind of exotic bird.

> While dictionaries are sometimes behind the times or somewhat
> inaccurate, and on rare occasions dead wrong, I think they are in
> general reliable reporters of how language is used.

A report on the real world is no substitute for the real world.

> At any rate, given a choice between believing what I see in a
> dictionary or what I hear from an individual, I would far rather
> put my trust in the dictionary,

Why do either? If you're interested enough in a question to
debate it, then surely you're interested enough to form your own
conclusions from the raw data.

> unless the individual can back up his or her statement based on
> resources comparable to those available to the lexicographers.

Resources, shmesources. Aside from their citation files and
their pronunciation files, lexicographers' resources are no better
than what you can find in the average university library.

And citation files have biases that limit their usefulness.
Merriam-Webster has a larger citation file than any other
dictionary publisher. On 13 Nov. 1995 on their AOL message board,
M-W Editorial Dept. wrote: "In our files of nearly 15 million words
in context that we've gathered through our research, we have only
two citations for 'misandrist' [...]. Neither of them uses the word
in actual running context. Rather, they merely mention the word as
a word. [...] So we have yet to see anyone actually *use*
'misandrist.'"

I searched soc.men and alt.feminism and, 7 minutes later,
posted 5 examples of "misandrist" in use.

> Who would be so foolish as to take anyone's *guess* as the
> last word on any subject?

Well, let's see. I gather that many Freudian psychiatrists
took Freud's guesses as definitive.

But I agree that a.u.e. readers have more sense than that.
In fact, I think they have enough sense not to need any of your
"Caveat Lector" posts.

>> If that's true, then if Bob's guess about "get" is correct,

>> "good dictionaries" must not exist at all!
>
> That point, unlike many of MI's points, is well taken.
>
> A careful investigator who after analyzing data is faced with
> an absurd result will not state the result until he has retraced

> his steps [...]. Then, instead of the snotty remark that MI
> made, he might have said to himself something like [...]

You must be using the phrase "well taken" in some sense I'm not
familiar with.

> BC | "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,
> LA | adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
> | With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do."
> | -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
> | :-)

On the other hand, don't you think Emerson would agree with
the statement "No great soul is a hypocrite"? If you were less
judgemental, I don't think your inconsistencies would bother
anyone.

--
mis...@scripps.edu Mark Israel

Mark Israel

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Jan 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/15/96
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In article <96011423...@mogur.com>, woody.wo...@mogur.com (Bob Cunningham) writes:

> A week or so ago I said:
>
>> Someone (I think it was an ancient Greek) counseled
>> "moderation in all things".
>

> I have recently come across the quotation I was thinking of,
> but imperfectly remembering:
>
> "Nothing in excess".
>
> According to _The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations_ (ODOQ), it
> was "inscribed on the temple of Apollo at Delphi, and variously
> ascribed to the Seven Wise Men".

Since "Moderation, all things in moderation" was the wording used
in the Dave Berg cartoon that I already quoted (and quote again
below), I (to coin a phrase) "find it hard to accept" that the
transmutation from "Nothing in excess" to "Moderation in all things"
occurred in Bob Cunningham's brain.

I am cross-posting to sci.classics; maybe someone there can help
us out.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Nancy J. Gill

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Jan 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/15/96
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In article <96011423...@mogur.com>, woody.wo...@mogur.com
(Bob Cunningham) writes:
>
> A week or so ago I said:
>
>> Someone (I think it was an ancient Greek) counseled
>> "moderation in all things".

Moderation in all things.
Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)c. 190-159 BC
Andria (The Lady of Andros), l. 61

--
Nancy J. Gill (njg...@ix.netcom.com)
Alameda, CA--where the 50s never end

The season has shed its mantle of wind
and chill and rain.
Charles d'Orléans 1391-1465
Rondeaux, 63

Anthony John Xenos

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Jan 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/15/96
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Besides the mutation of "Nothing in Excess" to "Moderation in All Things,"
the other phrase, "Know Thyself" is mutated by Polonius (pretty sure it was
him) in Hamlet to "To thy own self be true." Or perhaps they have reappeared
independently, being eternal bits of wisdom.

Craig
--
--
Tony Xenos Craig A. Butz
10 Hocking Street 2498 Mineral Road
Athens, Ohio 45701 New Marshfield, Ohio 45766-9747

Tasos Serghides

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Jan 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/16/96
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"Pan metron ariston" - Moderation in all things.

I think it was Aristotle.


Nancy J. Gill (njg...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
: In article <96011423...@mogur.com>, woody.wo...@mogur.com

951200703

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Jan 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/17/96
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I believe it was Socrates, the ancient greek philosopher who said
"Moderation, all things in moderation".
-New User


On 17 Jan 1996, Christopher Jones wrote:

> Nancy J. Gill (njg...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
> : In article <96011423...@mogur.com>, woody.wo...@mogur.com
> : (Bob Cunningham) writes:
> : >
> : > A week or so ago I said:
> : >
> : >> Someone (I think it was an ancient Greek) counseled
> : >> "moderation in all things".
>
>
>
> : Moderation in all things.
> : Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)c. 190-159 BC
> : Andria (The Lady of Andros), l. 61
>
> : --
> : Nancy J. Gill (njg...@ix.netcom.com)
> : Alameda, CA--where the 50s never end
>

> Andria, I.60-61:
>
> ...Non iniuria; nam id arbitror
> Adprime in vita esse utile, ut _nequid nimis_.
>
> --
> chj...@wwa.com | "Nil admirari prope res est una, Numici,
> Christopher Jones | solaque quae possit facere et servare beatum."
> Chicago, IL | - Horace Epi. I.6
>
>

Christopher Jones

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Jan 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/17/96
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Matthew Rabuzzi

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Jan 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/18/96
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Tasos Serghides <ta...@ridgecrest.ca.us> writes:
:
: "Pan metron ariston" - Moderation in all things.

: I think it was Aristotle.
:
: Nancy J. Gill (njg...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
: :
: : Moderation in all things.

: : Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)c. 190-159 BC
: : Andria (The Lady of Andros), l. 61

Since we named our boys Patrick and Terence, my wife and I have oft
been asked which of us has Irish blood. The answer is neither:
Patrick comes from Latin _patricius_ or "noble"
(and was the name of my best friend in first grade), while
Terence comes from the Roman playwright
(and is the name of a current friend, from Nigeria, not Ireland).
These happen to be names the Irish have taken up and bestowed frequently.

Similarly, the Terence of Africa and Rome took up Greek themes and
Greek dicta for his plays. They weren't all sheer imitation --
he did add a certain je ne sais quoi, and he is the original author
of the quotations, "Fortune aids the brave" and
"I am a man; nothing human is alien to me" --
but in _Andria_ he is indeed quoting someone centuries earlier.

...............................................................
Fortis fortuna adiuvat
Matthew Rabuzzi

exw...@ix.netcom.com

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Jan 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/19/96
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njg...@ix.netcom.com(Nancy J. Gill ) wrote:

>In article <96011423...@mogur.com>, woody.wo...@mogur.com
>(Bob Cunningham) writes:
>>
>> A week or so ago I said:
>>
>>> Someone (I think it was an ancient Greek) counseled
>>> "moderation in all things".

>Moderation in all things.

> Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)c. 190-159 BC
> Andria (The Lady of Andros), l. 61

Now that I have been told the above citation is from _Bartlett's
Familiar Quotations_, and have been thus reminded that I have the
Fourteenth Edition of that book (1968), I see it has a number of other
related citations, all nicely cross-referenced..

The earliest mention is from "c[irca] 650 - c[irca] 600 B.C., and
is attributed to "The Seven Sages":

"Nothing too much"
From Diogenes Laertius, bk. I, sec. 63

Under "Solon" Bartlett's gives another quotation from "Diogenes
Laertius, bk. I", which seems to say that was a work written by Solon.
So, why didn't they put "Nothing too much" under Solon, instead of
under the vaguer "The Seven Sages"?

(Solon was one of the Seven Sages, according to Bartlett's. The
other ones were Thales, Periander, Cleobulus, Chilon, Bias, and
Pitacus.)

---
Bob Cunningham
Los Angeles, California, USA


Rachel Meisel

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Jan 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/21/96
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exw...@ix.netcom.com (Bob Cunningham) wrote:
: njg...@ix.netcom.com(Nancy J. Gill ) wrote:
: >Moderation in all things.
: > Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)c. 190-159 BC
: > Andria (The Lady of Andros), l. 61

: Now that I have been told the above citation is from _Bartlett's
: Familiar Quotations_, and have been thus reminded that I have the
: Fourteenth Edition of that book (1968), I see it has a number of other
: related citations, all nicely cross-referenced..

: The earliest mention is from "c[irca] 650 - c[irca] 600 B.C., and
: is attributed to "The Seven Sages":

: "Nothing too much"
: From Diogenes Laertius, bk. I, sec. 63

: Under "Solon" Bartlett's gives another quotation from "Diogenes
: Laertius, bk. I", which seems to say that was a work written by Solon.
: So, why didn't they put "Nothing too much" under Solon, instead of
: under the vaguer "The Seven Sages"?


You seem to be a little confused. Diogenes Laertius wrote his _Lives of
Eminent Philosophers_ around 200 A.D. Among his subjects--all the usual
suspects--was the Athenian statesman and poet Solon, who had died some
750 years earlier.

The Greeks used to credit the Seven Sages with the sort of pithy
aphorisms most often ascribed to Anonymous nowadays. My guess is that
Diogenes Laertius did not specify a source for "Nothing too much," and
_Bartlett's_ simply followed suit.


Rachel


x

Rex Knepp

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Jan 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/22/96
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exw...@ix.netcom.com wrote:

: Under "Solon" Bartlett's gives another quotation from "Diogenes
: Laertius, bk. I", which seems to say that was a work written by Solon.
: So, why didn't they put "Nothing too much" under Solon, instead of
: under the vaguer "The Seven Sages"?

: (Solon was one of the Seven Sages, according to Bartlett's. The


: other ones were Thales, Periander, Cleobulus, Chilon, Bias, and
: Pitacus.)


If Solon was a sage, does that perhaps explain why our newspapers no
longer refer to congresspersons as "solons"?

-30-

rex

============================================================================
kn...@hou.moc.com
Rex Knepp - Marathon Oil Company - Tyler, TX
Marathon has no opinions: these are, therefore, mine.
=============================================================================

Brendan Carson

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Jan 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/24/96
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I posted this request a few months ago then had to go on a field trip
for a month and lost any (?) replies. Here goers again:

Suetonius says Julius Caese's horse had toes: it was a monster. Why
would this story have been told about Julius Caeser and not, say,
Augustus? Is it likely to be
a) completely false
b) an interpretatiopn or exaggeration of a particular deformity
c) true???

I am posting this to a genetics group too. Thanks a lot:

bca...@central.murdoch.edu.au

alan auerbach F

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Jan 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/24/96
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Could have been that Senator Incantatus had split hooves,
hoove-cutting/shaping, or painted hooves.


--
Al.

Alan Auerbach, Assoc. Prof. Dept. of Psychology, Science Bldg N2019
email: aaue...@mach1.wlu.ca 24-hr voicemail: (519) 884-0710, x2312
mail: WLU, Waterloo, ON phone: (519) 884-1970, x2312
Canada N2L 3C5 fax: (519) 746-7605

Night Hawk

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Jan 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/24/96
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Apparently The then dictator of Rome Lucilius cornelius sulla gave it as a
gift to Caesor as he had made him ride a mule till that point. IT is
explained further in Colleen McCulough's "Fortune's Favorites ". She
wrote the book as an historical novel. Hope this helps.

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