Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Degrees of Comparison

Clyde Kenneth Hyder, George Lyman Kittredge: Teacher and Scholar (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1962), p. 67:
Kittredge was also known to recall that sitting behind two men discussing the virtues of a dog had given him a new notion of a grammatical category that might be called "the three degrees of comparison." One of the men thus summarized his conclusions about the dog: "He's a damned good dog! He's a God-damned good dog! But I don't know he's such a hell of a God-damned good dog."
James Knowlson and Elizabeth Knowlson, edd., Beckett Remembering, Remembering Beckett: Uncollected Interviews with Samuel Beckett and Memories of Those Who Knew Him (London: Bloomsbury, 2006), p. 251:
When he was living in a retirement home during the last few weeks of his life, the hospital he was taken into when he fell gave him a course of injections for vitamin deficiency, called 'Avitaminosis'. As a result alcohol was strictly forbidden. The problem was that Beckett liked his whiskey regularly. 'That must be a bit of a bitch, Sam', I commented sympathetically. Long pause. 'No Jim. It's not a bit of a bitch. It is a bugger of a bastard of a bitch!'—a distinctly 'cool' remark for any 83-year-old to make. He went on: 'I'll make up for it later'.
Hat tip (and sole responsibility): Ian Jackson.

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