Monday, February 14, 2022

Nobby Dick

via The New York Public Library Digital Collections

Derived from nob meaning "nobleman" or other "superior sort of person," the adjective nobby means "stylish; elegant; swell" according to Webster.

An early announcement of Herman Melville's death in the Chicago Tribune mistakenly referred to him as the author of "Nobby Dick," prompting this sarcastic comment in the New York Sun:

New York Sun - October 5, 1891

The Chicago Tribune editorially informs its readers that the late HERMAN MELVILLE was the author of the charming and well-known romance, "Nobby Dick." This novelette, as we understand, has long enjoyed a deserved popularity in Chicago's highest literary circles. The announcement of the authorship of "Nobby Dick" will clear up what has been a perplexing mystery to thousands of cultivated minds.  --New York Sun, October 5, 1891

09 Oct 1891, Fri Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois)

In reply the Chicago editor blamed the youth of two employees, the printer and proofreader:
The error pointed out by our fastidious and carping contemporary was due to the fact that THE TRIBUNE's proofreader probably belongs to that unfortunate younger generation which has never reveled in the adventures of "Moby Dick and the White Whale," and consequently was satisfied to leave it "Nobby Dick," as the printer, also of the younger generation, insisted upon having it.  -- Chicago Tribune, October 9, 1891

No comments:

Post a Comment