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On Sun, Dec 30, 2001 at 03:16:07AM -0600, Thomas R. Wier wrote:
> Quoting Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]>:
>
> > Padraic Brown wrote:
> >
> > >While I agree that -ward(s) is not a case ending (it's an
> > >adverb); why can't you say "windowward of the davenport
> > >was an old grammophone"? Pronoun  -ward(s) would be an
> > >interesting construction, and perhaps a bit odd sounding;
> > >but I don't think inherently incorrect.
> >
> > In Evelyn Waugh's novel about the foreign correspondent in Africa
> > (I forget the title offhand),

Scoop!

One thing I remember from this story is the idea that several of the names
on the map of "Ismailia" were just "I don't know" in the local language.
I've often wondered how many times that must have happened in reality.

> >the men in the field were required to
> > use such constructions in their cables to the home office, to save
> > on the word count. "Nairobiwards tomorrow" and many other amusing
> > examples.
>
> Is that because they were being paid by the word, or because
> they wanted to save on printing costs? If the latter, you'd
> think that "to Nairobi" would be the cheaper option.

The cables were charged by the word. Presumable the despatches would be
expanded by the newseditor before being printed. There was a discussion
on the radio recently about all the "barbaric" contractions that the kids
use in their text messages, how English will never be the same again,
... end of civilation as we know it ... etc. etc. etc. Strangly no one
saw the analogy with the abbreviations that an earlier generation had
used in telegrams/cables.

Keith