Thursday, June 09, 2011

Transcription Error

All this chatter about the Congressman with the tee-hee name brings to mind an episode in a simpler time involving the old Boston Evening Transcript.  You remember the Transcript, that bastion of Back Bay propriety, the one that  used to publish Harvard College orations in Latin--call it L'Osservatore Romano for the codfish aristocracy.

Any, one day a Transcript music critic, in a grumpy mood, recounted how the cello player had sat stolid "like Buddha regarding his navel."  An editor spotted this indelicacy in the first edition and, horrified, ordered its immediate removal.   These were the days of those great lead-cast stereotype cylinders where the only way to excise an offending phrase was to chip the plate. So for the rest of the evening, the Transcript reported that the cellist sat stolid "Like Buddha regarding his        ."

Simpler time.  Now this, from T.S. Eliot.

The readers of the Boston Evening Transcript
Sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn.
When evening quickens faintly in the street,
Wakening the appetites of life in some
And to others bringing the Boston Evening Transcript,
I mount the steps and ring the bell, turning
Wearily, as one would turn to nod good-bye to Rochefoucauld,
If the street were time and he at the end of the street,
And I say, "Cousin Harriet, here is the Boston Evening Transcript."

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