Hurl
Posted: 03 July 2007 01:15 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m reading The Last Public Execution in America by Perry T. Ryan (it can be read online free on the author’s homepage). In Chapter 14, during the testimony of Will Vollman, comes this passage:

“We went up back of Koll’s Grocery, and Jack hurled and said, ‘here he is,’ and about that time, the other officers caught him.”

At first I thought it was a misprint but the manuscript is extremely well proof-read (the author is a DA, who knows the importance of exactitude in trial transcripts). Is this a regional term for yelled? (The scene is Kentucky). OED (hurl, v. 5) has a figurative sense for to utter with vehemence, but none of the cites use the word without an object and I’m pretty sure it’s unconnected.

I should add that the trial took place in 1936.

[ Edited: 03 July 2007 02:12 AM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 03 July 2007 01:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hurl usually means to puke, throw up, regurgitate violently in slang, but I think the author meant “utter vehemently” in that context. Not sure if his sentence construction is very good, though.

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Posted: 03 July 2007 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It’s not in DARE or the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English. Note the OED entry appears to have been unchanged since the first edition. (There are no 20th century citations for any of the senses.)

My guess is that it is indeed an example of hurl, v. 5.

I’d send the cite into the OED.

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Posted: 03 July 2007 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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My guess is that it is indeed an example of hurl, v. 5.

I dunno—I don’t think I’ve seen it without an object, and it sounds very strange.  Given that it’s transcribed testimony, it seems to me quite likely that the transcriber simply mistook whatever it was the witness said, which happens pretty frequently.  If I were the OED, I think I’d set it aside as too dubious to use.

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Posted: 03 July 2007 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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aldiboronti - 03 July 2007 01:15 AM

the importance of exactitude in trial transcripts

Before we go hurling off half-crocked, it is a trial transcript.  No matter how carefully we trust that the author correctly copied it into his book, you are also assuming:
1) the officer knew what he meant to say
2) the officer said what he meant
3) the court reporter heard what the officer said
4) the court reporter understood what the officer said
5) the court reporter correctly keyed what she understood the officer to have said
6) the transcriptionist correctly transcribed the court reporter’s tape.

The second answer down from “We went up back of Koll’s Grocery, and Jack hurled and said, ‘here he is,’” the officer says
“About Koll’s Grocery. Jack came running out on the river bank and said, ‘here he is.’”

Jack was running - could he have “hurried” instead of “hurled”?

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