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A mistake in Brewer?

Posted by Word Camel on November 20, 2002

In Reply to: Puns? posted by Word Camel on November 20, 2002

: : odious?

: : Comparisons are odious.
: : Proverbs 141

: : Comparisons are odorous.
: : Much Ado About Nothing (1598-9) act 3, sc. 5, l. [18]

: I came up with this line from the play:

: Dogb. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the matter: an old man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt, as, God help, I would desire they were; but, in faith, honest as the skin between his brows.
: Verg. Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any man living, that is an old man and no honester than I.
: Dogb. Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.
: Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.

: But the plot thickens: Brewer's Phrase and fable lists the quote "Comparisons are Odorous" this way:

: Comparisons are Odorous.
: So says Dogberry. (Much Ado About Nothing, iii. 5.) 1
: "We own your verses are melodious,
: But then comparisons are odious."
: Swift Answer to Sheridan's "Simile."
: Our own list of phrase origins here on Phrase Finder says it's "comparisons are odorous: but that it is often misquoted as "comparisons are odious"

: I don't have the whole of the play handy but will try to look it up unless someone else gets there first.

I've done a google search and the Brewer is the only source for that quote I could find. I also found an online version of the play and couldn't find the line - at least not where Brewer says it is.

My faith is shaken - not stirred.