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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000163.txt from 2000/09

Subj: [kl]The true history
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000 14:27:45 -0400

Neil Leupold wrote:
>There's very little cut & dried. What is the origin of this expression?

Notorious cut-up Bill Wright wrote,
>> Neil, this expression is an excellent example of how the clarinet
>>has affected human history, and the irony is that history appears to
>>have ignored its own outcome.
>> "Cut and dried" began with Mozart, believe it or not....

Not to cut down Bill's explanation, which cuts the mustard much better than
the gloss in the Oxford English Dictionary! -- but, according to the OED,
"cut and dried" originally referred "to herbs in the herbalists' shops, as
contrasted with growing herbs; hence...ready-made and void of freshness and
spontaneity...." The OED cut its earliest example from a letter complaining
that a sermon was "Cut and Dry'd" in 1720.

(who must cut and run)

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