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Re: [tr-m] Help with a translation

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  • gclinton@law.upenn.edu
    Hi. I think the reference is to the pliability, softness, and flexibility of a banana, as opposed to have what TR referred to as backbone, meaning strength
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 18, 2007
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      Hi.
      I think the reference is to the pliability, softness, and flexibility of a
      banana, as opposed to have what TR referred to as "backbone," meaning strength
      and firmness.
      TR had quite a colorful voabulary. For instance, he once said a fellow
      politician "has no more backbone than a chocolate eclair." I think this banana
      comment is in that vein.
      Off the top of my head, I cannot recall if he ever said someone had a
      banana for a spine...Anone else know of that? Gary Clinton





      Quoting marketatepla <marketice@...>:

      > Hello,
      >
      > I'm working on a traslation of John Irving's novel The Cider House
      > Rules and there is a sentence I don't really understand.
      > Maybe it's just nothing, but I thought it could also be an allusion to
      > something I don't really get.
      >
      > Could anyone help me with it, please?
      >
      > Here is the sentence:
      > "The chairman of the state board of medical examiners was a retired
      > physician who thought that President Teddy Roosevelt was the only
      > other man in the world besides himself who had not been made from a
      > banana."
      >
      > The scene is set in about the beginning of the 20th century.
      >
      > Thank you very much in advance!
      >
      > MT
      >
      >
    • Linda Milano
      At the time, the saying someone was bananas was a way of saying that they were crazy. Probably the best meaning of that sentence would be that the man
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 18, 2007
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        At the time, the saying someone was 'bananas' was a way of saying that they were crazy.  Probably the best meaning of that sentence would be that the man thought the only other person besides himself who wasn't crazy was Theodore Roosevelt.
         
        Best,
        Linda Milano
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 5:49 PM
        Subject: [tr-m] Help with a translation

        Hello,

        I'm working on a traslation of John Irving's novel The Cider House
        Rules and there is a sentence I don't really understand.
        Maybe it's just nothing, but I thought it could also be an allusion to
        something I don't really get.

        Could anyone help me with it, please?

        Here is the sentence:
        "The chairman of the state board of medical examiners was a retired
        physician who thought that President Teddy Roosevelt was the only
        other man in the world besides himself who had not been made from a
        banana."

        The scene is set in about the beginning of the 20th century.

        Thank you very much in advance!

        MT

      • Mike Purdy
        The fellow politician that TR said had “no more backbone than a chocolate éclair” was none other than William McKinley. Mike _____ From:
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 18, 2007
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          The fellow politician that TR said had “no more backbone than a chocolate éclair” was none other than William McKinley.

           

          Mike

           


          From: tr-m@yahoogroups.com [mailto: tr-m@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of gclinton@...
          Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 4:56 PM
          To: tr-m@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [tr-m] Help with a translation

           

          Hi.
          I think the reference is to the pliability, softness, and flexibility of a
          banana, as opposed to have what TR referred to as "backbone," meaning strength
          and firmness.
          TR had quite a colorful voabulary. For instance, he once said a fellow
          politician "has no more backbone than a chocolate eclair." I think this banana
          comment is in that vein.
          Off the top of my head, I cannot recall if he ever said someone had a
          banana for a spine...Anone else know of that? Gary Clinton

          Quoting marketatepla <marketice@email. cz>:

          > Hello,
          >
          > I'm working on a traslation of John Irving's novel The Cider House
          > Rules and there is a sentence I don't really understand.
          > Maybe it's just nothing, but I thought it could also be an allusion to
          > something I don't really get.
          >
          > Could anyone help me with it, please?
          >
          > Here is the sentence:
          > "The chairman of the state board of medical examiners was a retired
          > physician who thought that President Teddy Roosevelt was the only
          > other man in the world besides himself who had not been made from a
          > banana."
          >
          > The scene is set in about the beginning of the 20th century.
          >
          > Thank you very much in advance!
          >
          > MT
          >
          >

        • Harry Lembeck
          President Roosevelt appointed Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. to the Supreme Court. He wanted to make sure Holmes thought correctly about matters that concerned
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 19, 2007
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            President Roosevelt appointed Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. to the Supreme
            Court. He wanted to make sure Holmes thought "correctly" about matters
            that concerned the President, so with the help of Henry Cabot Lodge,
            held a secret meeting at Sagamore Hill with Holmes, where he questioned
            Holmes about his philosophy. Satisfied with Holmes's answers, the
            President made the appointment.

            Holmes turned out to be a disappointment in the Northern Securities
            case. Although the Court upheld the use of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law
            to break up the Northern Securities Company, the vote was close, 5-4.
            and Holmes was in the minority and wrote the dissenting opinion. TR
            was angry. Referring to Holmes, he said he could carve a stronger
            backbone out of a banana. Two years later, he was still angry, and in
            a letter to Lodge, TR complained that Holmes had been a disappointment
            to him.

            What I think the chairman of the board of medical examiners was saying
            was that only he and TR were men of strength and determination, i.e.,
            men with backbone, and one not carved from a banana.

            Best regards and good luck.

            Harry
            On Jul 18, 2007, at 5:49 PM, marketatepla wrote:

            > Hello,
            >
            > I'm working on a traslation of John Irving's novel The Cider House
            > Rules and there is a sentence I don't really understand.
            > Maybe it's just nothing, but I thought it could also be an allusion to
            > something I don't really get.
            >
            > Could anyone help me with it, please?
            >
            > Here is the sentence:
            > "The chairman of the state board of medical examiners was a retired
            > physician who thought that President Teddy Roosevelt was the only
            > other man in the world besides himself who had not been made from a
            > banana."
            >
            > The scene is set in about the beginning of the 20th century.
            >
            > Thank you very much in advance!
            >
            > MT
            >
            >
          • Gary Papush
            I d suggest contacting Irving to ask him what HE meant when he wrote it. marketatepla wrote: Hello, I m
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 19, 2007
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              I'd suggest contacting Irving to ask him what HE meant when he wrote it.

              marketatepla <marketice@...> wrote:
              Hello,

              I'm working on a traslation of John Irving's novel The Cider House
              Rules and there is a sentence I don't really understand.
              Maybe it's just nothing, but I thought it could also be an allusion to
              something I don't really get.

              Could anyone help me with it, please?

              Here is the sentence:
              "The chairman of the state board of medical examiners was a retired
              physician who thought that President Teddy Roosevelt was the only
              other man in the world besides himself who had not been made from a
              banana."

              The scene is set in about the beginning of the 20th century.

              Thank you very much in advance!

              MT



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