The Typochondriac tests Jean-Baptiste-Alphonse Karr’s assertion that the more things change, the more they stay the same
“The more things change,” sighed Jean-Baptiste-Alphonse Karr in another time, another tongue, “the more they stay the same.”
A journalist/novelist/critic, Karr lived from 1808 to 1890; he uttered his memorable maxim “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” in January 1849 by way of his satirical review, Les Guepes (the hornets’ nest).
And this morning I decided to test M. Karr’s asseveration. I clumped down the cellar to the rust-deco file cabinets that hold cherished tearsheets and other industrial editing incunabula of the early 1970s. Brushing aside the mother of all web sights I scooped up an armload of musty folders and sneezed my way back upstairs. What kind of linguistic felonies had I fielded in those Nixonic, pre-ebonic years? Here’re some:
1) “We tried every manner of persuasion, but the child remained disinterested.” (From a Conn. insurance company magazine.)
2) “The city fathers concurred on the proposed ordnance.”(Mass. metro newspaper, 1972.)