Countstore
Posted: 23 March 2007 01:10 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Coming across the term midway in a sense I was unfamiliar with, I checked OED, and, sure enough:

3. N. Amer. (At an exhibition, fair, etc.) a central avenue along which the chief exhibits or amusements are placed; any area of sideshows or amusements; (slang) a hall. Freq. with capital initial and with the.
The use originated in the inclusion of the ‘Midway Plaisance’ of Chicago in the grounds of the exposition held there in 1893.

Running my eye down the cites, I noted this one:

1956 H. GOLD Man who was not with It i. 3 There he is on the midway, Grack the Frenchie, talking for his countstore.

OED returns no results for countstore; Google no useful results. I can only assume it’s some kind of sideshow. Does anybody know?

Edit: I seem to recall that there was a scifi author named Gold, and I wondered whether this was he and the term merely an SF nonce-word. But apparently not. This is the author in question, and he’s not the science fiction writer (if indeed there be one).

[ Edited: 23 March 2007 01:21 AM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 23 March 2007 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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From this site about Carny Lingo.

COUNT STORE -A carnival game in which you add up your score to determine if, or what, prize you wone. The agent could ‘outcount’ you to beat you but, usually, the odds are just in his favor.

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Posted: 23 March 2007 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Well found. Thanks, happydog. I see now that I should have entered it as two words to get the relevant Google hit. Separating the words still brings up nothing in OED. Although my search techniques in the big dic have yet to be honed, it seems they missed this one.

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Posted: 23 March 2007 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The term “Midway” is very much a part of Chicago history and lore.  The current professional (American) football team in Chicago has appropriated the nickname “Monsters of the Midway” which originally was given to the University of Chicago football team where the Midway Plaisance was first located (I didn’t know its full name until aldiboranti found this OED citation).

The term midway has been used by the traveling carnivals across the Midwest at least.  Spent many a wayward adolescent summer’s eve in such exotic environs.

edit: having said all that I see the thread is about ”countstore” which I’ve never heard before this discussion </sheepish smile>

[ Edited: 23 March 2007 05:52 AM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 23 March 2007 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The science fiction author aldi was thinking of was almost certainly H. L. Gold, perhaps most famous as the founding editor of Galaxy magazine.  The H stood for Horace.

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Posted: 23 March 2007 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Here‘s his Wikipedia entry (quite a nice one, I’m pleased to see).  He was a wonderful author as well as editor, but wrote too little.

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Posted: 23 March 2007 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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HL Gold, the very man! How sad to read of his agoraphobia-enforced seclusion for the last 35 years of his life.

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