Friday, January 14, 2011



Jenny McMorris, The Warden of English: The Life of H.W. Fowler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 187:
This project had taken much longer than originally planned, nearly the whole of 1927 in fact, but by Christmas Henry was able to report that it was nearly ready, reassuring Sisam, 'If I were motorcuted today, my decease would be of no importance, the slips being ready to send.'
This doesn't show up on Google Books, as this work is "No Preview." However, Google Books does give an example, from B. Fletcher Robinson, "Motor-Cars and Bicycles," Pearson's Magazine 13 (Jan.-June 1902) 340-344 (at 341):
"Great Scott, man, you're not going to be hanged."

"Of course not," said I, rousing myself from my stupor, "only motorcuted. Ha! ha! Do your worst."
Another example from the newspaper New Zealand Truth: The People's Paper, No. 942 (December 15, 1923), p. 1:
"Think twice," says the elderly adviser."Look twice—before you cross the road," advises "Critic."

The Man at the Corner runs less risk of being motorcuted than the Man in the Street does. For this mercy 'Truth' readers should be truly thankful.
It's surprising that the word hasn't caught on, as motorcution is such a common means of death. I believe that this blog post will result in the first example of motorcution on Google (put it in quotation marks to exclude hits for motor auction, etc.).

Related post: Donnish Humor.


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