20.389 Kelvin's "if ye canna, ye dinna!" ?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 08:01:37 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 389.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 07:58:29 +0000
         From: "Stephen Fletcher" <Stephen.Fletcher_at_lboro.ac.uk>
         Subject: Re: 16.479 Kelvin's "if ye canna, ye dinna!" ?

          I don't know if this posting has died of old age, but if it
is still alive, you might like to note (or may be aware already) that
a stenographer was present at Kelvin's Baltimore lectures, which is a
possible source for the quotation.

The clue is in the full title of the published book, which is

Baltimore lectures on molecular dynamics and the wave theory of light
/ founded on Mr. A.S. Hathaway's stenographic report of twenty
lectures delivered in Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, in October
1884: followed by twelve appendices on allied subjects by Lord Kelvin.

C.J. Clay and Sons ; Baltimore : Publication agency of the Johns
Hopkins University, 1904

The whereabouts of the stenographer's report is, alas, unknown to
me. If the stenographer is indeed the source of the quotation, then
the published version is another example of the scottish language
being "rectified" by some dull editor.

Best wishes,


Prof Stephen Fletcher
Professor of Physical Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
Loughborough University
Ashby Road
Leicestershire LE11 3TU

Tel: 01509 222 561
Fax: 01509 223 925
Email: stephen.fletcher_at_lboro.ac.uk
Received on Thu Jan 11 2007 - 03:56:59 EST

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