[Milton-L] Queering Milton

John Hale john.hale at stonebow.otago.ac.nz
Wed Jan 27 14:19:38 EST 2010



To "queer someone's pitch" = to obstruct them, "snooker" them.




Quoting Carol Barton <cbartonphd1 at verizon.net>:


   *
John, I don't know where I first heard it, but the expression
"queering the deal" is fairly common. The usage is essentially the
same--something on the order of "screwing it up."

Best to all,

Carol Barton, Ph.D.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Sometimes, exhausted
with toil and endeavour,
I wish I could sleep
for ever and ever;
but then this reflection
my longing allays:
I shall be doing it
one of these days.
---Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996)---

Jan 27, 2010 11:14:33 AM, milton-l at lists.richmond.edu wrote:

The astronomer Harlow Shapley, interviewed on June 8, 1966 by Charles
Weiner and Helen Wright, admitted to enjoying poety and liking
Tennyson, but when asked by Wright, "How about Milton?", replied:

"Milton's tedious. And also I had to study him in some school. That
always queers a poet."

  

Interesting use there of the verb "queers."  I checked the OED and
found the definition "spoil" (which is presumably the only sense
Shapley intended).   These days "queers a poet" would have very
different connotations, including (and especially) "in some school".
Queer, how words and institutions change.
  
-------------------------

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