slings » stings

Chiefly in:   stings and arrows

Classification: English – citational

Spotted in the wild:

  • To be or not to be that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the stings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or take up arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing them, end them. (TPCN Great Quotations)
  • Sovereignties are often seen in a battle arrayed in shining armor and civilizations tend to fall between these tools and suffer the stings and arrows of misfortune. (UNESCO)
  • Liberals have since the founding of this country moved it FORWARD. Unflinchingly and with tremendous courage. They have taken the stings and arrows of their fellow man and turned them into the reason for their struggle. (link)

“stings and arrows” gets 331 hits on Google

“slings and arrows”, gets 130,000 hits on Google

The original is from Hamlet’s Shakespeare, and it is a biblical reference, I believe.

On the SHAKSPER mailing list, Hardy M. Cook reports:

> But this time I got up and pulled down Harold Jenkins’s Arden edition and
checked his footnotes. Although Jenkins suspects that the line should read
“stings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” he cites no examples of the arrows
of fortune. (Neither does the Furness variorum.)
> I checked the OED1 under “slings,” and found example after example of the union
of “slingers and archers, slings and bows”–the light artillery of
pre-gunpowder warfare. Jenkins found only one example in Golding’s translation
of Caesar’s Gallic Wars. I see no need for an emendation of
“slings” to “stings.” Under “fortune,” I found no reference to “fortune’s
arrows.” […]
> Both “slings” and “arrows” had a figurative use by Shakespeare’s time (and
probably much earlier), indicating the “power” of certain abstractions. So, one
could talk about, say, the slings of conscience. Perhaps there was no
tradition in which Fortune was pictured as an archer.

See also _strings and arrows_.

| 1 comment | link | entered by glyphobet, 2005/02/22 |

mourning » morning

Chiefly in:   morning dove , Morning Becomes Electra

Classification: English – citational

Spotted in the wild:

  • Marilyn and I have been watching a morning dove who nested and has been sitting on the eggs up in our gutter on the front (north) side of the house. (Union University News Release, May 7, 2003)
  • Ground feeders like juncos, morning doves, sparrows and cardinals will feed on seed kicked off of platform feeders by other birds or on feed placed on the ground for them. (UNH Cooperative Extension news)
  • I wrote about Greek tragedy, not really on Greek tragedy, but, on the 20th Century adaptations of it, … like Morning Becomes Electra, and there were about eight others, French, German, American, and so on. (Rutgers Oral History Archives of World War II, May 14, 1999)
  • The author files contain a large section of Eugene O’Neill material, including 60 letters (1920-1948) to Commins; galleys for Morning Becomes Electra, Ah, Wilderness, The Iceman Cometh, Days Without End, and A Moon for the Misbegotten. (Princeton University Library, Saxe Commins Papers)

Christine Quintasket (1888-1936), an Okanogan Indian from eastern Washington and the first Native American woman to publish a novel, originally went by the pen name “Morning Dove.” According to this thesis, she changed her pseudonym to “Mourning Dove” after she visited a museum and realized that this was the proper spelling of the bird’s name.

KCRW, a public radio station in Santa Monica, CA, has a music program called “Morning Becomes Eclectic.”

| 1 comment | link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/02/17 |