Dating Game

Barbiepink_gown From Loretta:

I’ve just spent a few days playing verbal Dodgeball with the ladies at Romance Novel TV.  I was this week’s Mystery Author.  It’s a sort of 20 Questions game they play.  It's fun and challenging.  They ask questions and the author tries to give answers that answer without giving away who she is.  It ain’t easy, believe me.  These readers are sharp, and there were times where I felt as though I was standing against a big board with darts landing a gnat’s nose hair away from tender flesh.

Sherlock_holmesw The Q & A goes on Mon-Wed.  On Thursday the Mystery Author’s identity is revealed.  So as of today I am all revealed and can tell you about it, and send you over to admire their sleuthing skills and my powers of deception.  The rest of the blog is cool, too, so check it out

However, after playing mind games all week, and tiring out my brain in a major way, I’ve decided to let you do some work.  We’re going to play a game.  Since you already know who I am, we can skip that one.

Clock_1 This is a Dating Game.  Specifically, date the verbiage.

A while back we had a guest blogger talking about old and new language, and I’ve had some discussions elsewhere about what sounds modern & what doesn’t & how some very old words strike some readers as “too modern” for a Regency era story. 

Jane_austenw So I wondered how hard it was to tell when a book had been written.  Is it easy to distinguish between say, an excerpt from Jane Austen and one from Georgette Heyer?  Can something written in the early part of the 20th century seem as though it was written in the 21st?

Below are are some quotations.  You don’t have to guess the author.  All you need to do is guess whether it’s old or new.  But the more you narrow things down, the more credit you get.

GcruikshankinconveniencescrowdeddraOld would be something written in the 19th century or earlier.
New would be something written in the 20th or 21st century.
Bonus points for guessing the century correctly.
Bonus bonus points for guessing the author, too.

Two of the highest scorers will win signed copies of my books.

Now put on your thinking caps, because I tried to make these fiendishly difficult. (I honed those skills over at Romance Novel TV.)

Madam_palmerw1.   Personal size and mental sorrow have certainly no necessary proportions.  A large bulky figure has as good a right to be in deep affliction, as the most graceful set of limbs in the world.  But fair or not fair, there are unbecoming conjunctions…

2. There are factions (private ones at Court) about Madam Palmer; but what it is about I know not. But it is something about the King’s favour to her now that the Queen is coming.

3. …ragged tenements, fragments of unfinished walls and arches, and piles of scaffolding, and wildernesses of bricks, and giant forms of cranes, and tripods straddling above nothing.

Oranges_2 4. The girl’s flushed face was as round as the oranges in the willow basket on her hip as she grinned up at us from the theatre’s pit.  Every such chit in the place would come parade below the royal box, flaunting their overripe breasts like more oranges for sale…

Stilettow 5. So that if I come away with a stiletto in my gizzard some fine afternoon…

Hyde_park_cr_1842wk 6. While not as busy as it would be during the daylight hours, the area was by no means deserted.  The waterman still carried buckets to the hackneys lined up at the coach stand.  Some soldiers gossiped under a street lamp.  A milk-woman carried her empty pails back toward Knightsbridge.  The tollgate keeper would continue to work through the night.

7. Why not?  A man’s mind–what there is of it–has always the advantage of being masculine.

Auto_travel 8. “It seems that he forgot the discretion his legal advisers urged him to observe, and it seems to them than an absence from the country is now essential for a while.  I forget the details–mayhem, attorneys flying out of a two-pair-of-stairs window, glass damaged to the extent of several pounds, clerks put in fear of their lives, blasphemous words, a breach of the King’s peace.”

9.  “Oh!  People never say nice things about me.  What have you been told?”
       “That you were beautiful.”
       “And?”
       “And disastrous.”

10.  Nature had equipped him with a mind so admirably constructed for withstanding the disagreeableness of life that, if an unpleasant thought entered it, it passed out again a moment later.

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While you work on it, I'll be staring out of the window with Francesca, looking for trouble.

70 thoughts on “Dating Game”

  1. I’m up late and should be writing…
    1) old, Austen, Persuasion
    2) new (a wench perhaps?)
    3) old, Dickens
    4) new, ?
    5) old, Byron
    6) new, Heyer?
    7) old, Eliot
    8) new, no idea
    9) new, Fitzgerald
    10) new, Wodehouse

    Reply
  2. I’m up late and should be writing…
    1) old, Austen, Persuasion
    2) new (a wench perhaps?)
    3) old, Dickens
    4) new, ?
    5) old, Byron
    6) new, Heyer?
    7) old, Eliot
    8) new, no idea
    9) new, Fitzgerald
    10) new, Wodehouse

    Reply
  3. I’m up late and should be writing…
    1) old, Austen, Persuasion
    2) new (a wench perhaps?)
    3) old, Dickens
    4) new, ?
    5) old, Byron
    6) new, Heyer?
    7) old, Eliot
    8) new, no idea
    9) new, Fitzgerald
    10) new, Wodehouse

    Reply
  4. I’m up late and should be writing…
    1) old, Austen, Persuasion
    2) new (a wench perhaps?)
    3) old, Dickens
    4) new, ?
    5) old, Byron
    6) new, Heyer?
    7) old, Eliot
    8) new, no idea
    9) new, Fitzgerald
    10) new, Wodehouse

    Reply
  5. I’m up late and should be writing…
    1) old, Austen, Persuasion
    2) new (a wench perhaps?)
    3) old, Dickens
    4) new, ?
    5) old, Byron
    6) new, Heyer?
    7) old, Eliot
    8) new, no idea
    9) new, Fitzgerald
    10) new, Wodehouse

    Reply
  6. Oh! Oh! Being “staff,” I’m not eligible for any prizes, but I’m so tickled that I know #8 absolutely. I won’t give it away, but it’s by one of my favorite authors. I remember how I laughed when I first encountered that scene. And it just so happens that I’m currently listening to the audiobook where that scene occurs! *Cue Twilight Zone music*

    Reply
  7. Oh! Oh! Being “staff,” I’m not eligible for any prizes, but I’m so tickled that I know #8 absolutely. I won’t give it away, but it’s by one of my favorite authors. I remember how I laughed when I first encountered that scene. And it just so happens that I’m currently listening to the audiobook where that scene occurs! *Cue Twilight Zone music*

    Reply
  8. Oh! Oh! Being “staff,” I’m not eligible for any prizes, but I’m so tickled that I know #8 absolutely. I won’t give it away, but it’s by one of my favorite authors. I remember how I laughed when I first encountered that scene. And it just so happens that I’m currently listening to the audiobook where that scene occurs! *Cue Twilight Zone music*

    Reply
  9. Oh! Oh! Being “staff,” I’m not eligible for any prizes, but I’m so tickled that I know #8 absolutely. I won’t give it away, but it’s by one of my favorite authors. I remember how I laughed when I first encountered that scene. And it just so happens that I’m currently listening to the audiobook where that scene occurs! *Cue Twilight Zone music*

    Reply
  10. Oh! Oh! Being “staff,” I’m not eligible for any prizes, but I’m so tickled that I know #8 absolutely. I won’t give it away, but it’s by one of my favorite authors. I remember how I laughed when I first encountered that scene. And it just so happens that I’m currently listening to the audiobook where that scene occurs! *Cue Twilight Zone music*

    Reply
  11. What fun, Loretta.
    I’m reminded of a book I picked up that looked old and was called something like The Diary of a Young Lady, and dated in the 1760s. I was excited, but the more I read the more I doubted. I felt proud of my discernment when I found out it’s a well known hoax. Fortunately I’d only paid about a dollar for it — which had made me slightly suspicious from the beginning, I suppose.
    It was almost right, but there were little things about the tone and phrasing that just went ::clang::
    Jo

    Reply
  12. What fun, Loretta.
    I’m reminded of a book I picked up that looked old and was called something like The Diary of a Young Lady, and dated in the 1760s. I was excited, but the more I read the more I doubted. I felt proud of my discernment when I found out it’s a well known hoax. Fortunately I’d only paid about a dollar for it — which had made me slightly suspicious from the beginning, I suppose.
    It was almost right, but there were little things about the tone and phrasing that just went ::clang::
    Jo

    Reply
  13. What fun, Loretta.
    I’m reminded of a book I picked up that looked old and was called something like The Diary of a Young Lady, and dated in the 1760s. I was excited, but the more I read the more I doubted. I felt proud of my discernment when I found out it’s a well known hoax. Fortunately I’d only paid about a dollar for it — which had made me slightly suspicious from the beginning, I suppose.
    It was almost right, but there were little things about the tone and phrasing that just went ::clang::
    Jo

    Reply
  14. What fun, Loretta.
    I’m reminded of a book I picked up that looked old and was called something like The Diary of a Young Lady, and dated in the 1760s. I was excited, but the more I read the more I doubted. I felt proud of my discernment when I found out it’s a well known hoax. Fortunately I’d only paid about a dollar for it — which had made me slightly suspicious from the beginning, I suppose.
    It was almost right, but there were little things about the tone and phrasing that just went ::clang::
    Jo

    Reply
  15. What fun, Loretta.
    I’m reminded of a book I picked up that looked old and was called something like The Diary of a Young Lady, and dated in the 1760s. I was excited, but the more I read the more I doubted. I felt proud of my discernment when I found out it’s a well known hoax. Fortunately I’d only paid about a dollar for it — which had made me slightly suspicious from the beginning, I suppose.
    It was almost right, but there were little things about the tone and phrasing that just went ::clang::
    Jo

    Reply
  16. great idea, excellent, evocative quotes one and all. if the game had been on any other site i would have felt much more confident about guessing old and new, but here we are, on the wench site, studded with so many writers gifted at making the newly written seem to have been born in the past. some of the quotes sound like they could be from the wenches! i’ll take a shot:
    1.old
    2.old
    3.new
    4.new
    5.old
    6.new
    7.old
    8.old
    9.new
    10.old

    Reply
  17. great idea, excellent, evocative quotes one and all. if the game had been on any other site i would have felt much more confident about guessing old and new, but here we are, on the wench site, studded with so many writers gifted at making the newly written seem to have been born in the past. some of the quotes sound like they could be from the wenches! i’ll take a shot:
    1.old
    2.old
    3.new
    4.new
    5.old
    6.new
    7.old
    8.old
    9.new
    10.old

    Reply
  18. great idea, excellent, evocative quotes one and all. if the game had been on any other site i would have felt much more confident about guessing old and new, but here we are, on the wench site, studded with so many writers gifted at making the newly written seem to have been born in the past. some of the quotes sound like they could be from the wenches! i’ll take a shot:
    1.old
    2.old
    3.new
    4.new
    5.old
    6.new
    7.old
    8.old
    9.new
    10.old

    Reply
  19. great idea, excellent, evocative quotes one and all. if the game had been on any other site i would have felt much more confident about guessing old and new, but here we are, on the wench site, studded with so many writers gifted at making the newly written seem to have been born in the past. some of the quotes sound like they could be from the wenches! i’ll take a shot:
    1.old
    2.old
    3.new
    4.new
    5.old
    6.new
    7.old
    8.old
    9.new
    10.old

    Reply
  20. great idea, excellent, evocative quotes one and all. if the game had been on any other site i would have felt much more confident about guessing old and new, but here we are, on the wench site, studded with so many writers gifted at making the newly written seem to have been born in the past. some of the quotes sound like they could be from the wenches! i’ll take a shot:
    1.old
    2.old
    3.new
    4.new
    5.old
    6.new
    7.old
    8.old
    9.new
    10.old

    Reply
  21. Great quiz – and at least 3 books here I want to read that I don’t recognize.
    1 old -Jane Austen – poor Mrs Musgrove with her fat sighs from Persuasion? Or Mrs Jennings from S&S, possibly.
    2 old; Pepys
    3 old; Dickens, the railway cutting from Dombey
    4 new
    5 old, has to be Byron to John Murray
    6 new
    7 old – George Eliot
    8 new
    9 new
    10 new – but shame of shame I didn’t recognise one of my favourite writers of all time and had help – well some serious sneering – because I didn’t realise who it was. Mind you, the fitting up of other authors while I tried to work it out was great fun.
    I disqualify myself from the prize because of the third party input (Devil take him) but it was a blast – thanks Loretta. And I want to read No 8 NOW.

    Reply
  22. Great quiz – and at least 3 books here I want to read that I don’t recognize.
    1 old -Jane Austen – poor Mrs Musgrove with her fat sighs from Persuasion? Or Mrs Jennings from S&S, possibly.
    2 old; Pepys
    3 old; Dickens, the railway cutting from Dombey
    4 new
    5 old, has to be Byron to John Murray
    6 new
    7 old – George Eliot
    8 new
    9 new
    10 new – but shame of shame I didn’t recognise one of my favourite writers of all time and had help – well some serious sneering – because I didn’t realise who it was. Mind you, the fitting up of other authors while I tried to work it out was great fun.
    I disqualify myself from the prize because of the third party input (Devil take him) but it was a blast – thanks Loretta. And I want to read No 8 NOW.

    Reply
  23. Great quiz – and at least 3 books here I want to read that I don’t recognize.
    1 old -Jane Austen – poor Mrs Musgrove with her fat sighs from Persuasion? Or Mrs Jennings from S&S, possibly.
    2 old; Pepys
    3 old; Dickens, the railway cutting from Dombey
    4 new
    5 old, has to be Byron to John Murray
    6 new
    7 old – George Eliot
    8 new
    9 new
    10 new – but shame of shame I didn’t recognise one of my favourite writers of all time and had help – well some serious sneering – because I didn’t realise who it was. Mind you, the fitting up of other authors while I tried to work it out was great fun.
    I disqualify myself from the prize because of the third party input (Devil take him) but it was a blast – thanks Loretta. And I want to read No 8 NOW.

    Reply
  24. Great quiz – and at least 3 books here I want to read that I don’t recognize.
    1 old -Jane Austen – poor Mrs Musgrove with her fat sighs from Persuasion? Or Mrs Jennings from S&S, possibly.
    2 old; Pepys
    3 old; Dickens, the railway cutting from Dombey
    4 new
    5 old, has to be Byron to John Murray
    6 new
    7 old – George Eliot
    8 new
    9 new
    10 new – but shame of shame I didn’t recognise one of my favourite writers of all time and had help – well some serious sneering – because I didn’t realise who it was. Mind you, the fitting up of other authors while I tried to work it out was great fun.
    I disqualify myself from the prize because of the third party input (Devil take him) but it was a blast – thanks Loretta. And I want to read No 8 NOW.

    Reply
  25. Great quiz – and at least 3 books here I want to read that I don’t recognize.
    1 old -Jane Austen – poor Mrs Musgrove with her fat sighs from Persuasion? Or Mrs Jennings from S&S, possibly.
    2 old; Pepys
    3 old; Dickens, the railway cutting from Dombey
    4 new
    5 old, has to be Byron to John Murray
    6 new
    7 old – George Eliot
    8 new
    9 new
    10 new – but shame of shame I didn’t recognise one of my favourite writers of all time and had help – well some serious sneering – because I didn’t realise who it was. Mind you, the fitting up of other authors while I tried to work it out was great fun.
    I disqualify myself from the prize because of the third party input (Devil take him) but it was a blast – thanks Loretta. And I want to read No 8 NOW.

    Reply
  26. Would have been more fun if we’d not had everyone’s guesses on open 🙁
    If I guess now, I’d be influenced by comments.

    Reply
  27. Would have been more fun if we’d not had everyone’s guesses on open 🙁
    If I guess now, I’d be influenced by comments.

    Reply
  28. Would have been more fun if we’d not had everyone’s guesses on open 🙁
    If I guess now, I’d be influenced by comments.

    Reply
  29. Would have been more fun if we’d not had everyone’s guesses on open 🙁
    If I guess now, I’d be influenced by comments.

    Reply
  30. Would have been more fun if we’d not had everyone’s guesses on open 🙁
    If I guess now, I’d be influenced by comments.

    Reply
  31. Janice, good point. Next time I’ll discourage any commentary re guesses. And maybe I’ll just stick to asking OLD or NEW and give bonus points for guessing the century. But play anyway, ignoring others’ guesses. I might have to do a runoff question. This is my first time trying this game, so I’ll work on fine-tuning it.

    Reply
  32. Janice, good point. Next time I’ll discourage any commentary re guesses. And maybe I’ll just stick to asking OLD or NEW and give bonus points for guessing the century. But play anyway, ignoring others’ guesses. I might have to do a runoff question. This is my first time trying this game, so I’ll work on fine-tuning it.

    Reply
  33. Janice, good point. Next time I’ll discourage any commentary re guesses. And maybe I’ll just stick to asking OLD or NEW and give bonus points for guessing the century. But play anyway, ignoring others’ guesses. I might have to do a runoff question. This is my first time trying this game, so I’ll work on fine-tuning it.

    Reply
  34. Janice, good point. Next time I’ll discourage any commentary re guesses. And maybe I’ll just stick to asking OLD or NEW and give bonus points for guessing the century. But play anyway, ignoring others’ guesses. I might have to do a runoff question. This is my first time trying this game, so I’ll work on fine-tuning it.

    Reply
  35. Janice, good point. Next time I’ll discourage any commentary re guesses. And maybe I’ll just stick to asking OLD or NEW and give bonus points for guessing the century. But play anyway, ignoring others’ guesses. I might have to do a runoff question. This is my first time trying this game, so I’ll work on fine-tuning it.

    Reply
  36. 1. Jane Austin, 19th century, Persuasion
    2 Melville, 20th century, Windsor Beauties
    3. Wilson, 20th century, Sphinx in the City
    4. 20th century?
    5. Byron, 19th century, Letters and Journals
    6. 20th century
    7. George Elliot, 19th century, Middlemarch
    8. 20th century
    9. 20th century, You?
    10. Wodehouse, not sure if it was late 19th or early 20th century

    Reply
  37. 1. Jane Austin, 19th century, Persuasion
    2 Melville, 20th century, Windsor Beauties
    3. Wilson, 20th century, Sphinx in the City
    4. 20th century?
    5. Byron, 19th century, Letters and Journals
    6. 20th century
    7. George Elliot, 19th century, Middlemarch
    8. 20th century
    9. 20th century, You?
    10. Wodehouse, not sure if it was late 19th or early 20th century

    Reply
  38. 1. Jane Austin, 19th century, Persuasion
    2 Melville, 20th century, Windsor Beauties
    3. Wilson, 20th century, Sphinx in the City
    4. 20th century?
    5. Byron, 19th century, Letters and Journals
    6. 20th century
    7. George Elliot, 19th century, Middlemarch
    8. 20th century
    9. 20th century, You?
    10. Wodehouse, not sure if it was late 19th or early 20th century

    Reply
  39. 1. Jane Austin, 19th century, Persuasion
    2 Melville, 20th century, Windsor Beauties
    3. Wilson, 20th century, Sphinx in the City
    4. 20th century?
    5. Byron, 19th century, Letters and Journals
    6. 20th century
    7. George Elliot, 19th century, Middlemarch
    8. 20th century
    9. 20th century, You?
    10. Wodehouse, not sure if it was late 19th or early 20th century

    Reply
  40. 1. Jane Austin, 19th century, Persuasion
    2 Melville, 20th century, Windsor Beauties
    3. Wilson, 20th century, Sphinx in the City
    4. 20th century?
    5. Byron, 19th century, Letters and Journals
    6. 20th century
    7. George Elliot, 19th century, Middlemarch
    8. 20th century
    9. 20th century, You?
    10. Wodehouse, not sure if it was late 19th or early 20th century

    Reply
  41. Um. The only one I recognize is the first, from Austen’s Persuasion, describing Mrs. Musgrove’s sorrow for her (mercifully) deceased ne’er-do-well son. I’ll have to ruminate on the rest.

    Reply
  42. Um. The only one I recognize is the first, from Austen’s Persuasion, describing Mrs. Musgrove’s sorrow for her (mercifully) deceased ne’er-do-well son. I’ll have to ruminate on the rest.

    Reply
  43. Um. The only one I recognize is the first, from Austen’s Persuasion, describing Mrs. Musgrove’s sorrow for her (mercifully) deceased ne’er-do-well son. I’ll have to ruminate on the rest.

    Reply
  44. Um. The only one I recognize is the first, from Austen’s Persuasion, describing Mrs. Musgrove’s sorrow for her (mercifully) deceased ne’er-do-well son. I’ll have to ruminate on the rest.

    Reply
  45. Um. The only one I recognize is the first, from Austen’s Persuasion, describing Mrs. Musgrove’s sorrow for her (mercifully) deceased ne’er-do-well son. I’ll have to ruminate on the rest.

    Reply
  46. 1. old 19th century
    2. old 17th century
    3. old 19th century
    4. new 20th century
    5. old 19th century
    6. new 21st century – Loretta Chase, Lord Perfect.
    7. old 19th century
    8. new 20th century
    9. new 20th century – Georgette Heyer, An infamous army.
    10. new 20th century
    Your readers are obviously great re-readers of Jane Austen, Loretta. That fragment from Persuasion was the only one I recognised straight-off, same as everyone else.

    Reply
  47. 1. old 19th century
    2. old 17th century
    3. old 19th century
    4. new 20th century
    5. old 19th century
    6. new 21st century – Loretta Chase, Lord Perfect.
    7. old 19th century
    8. new 20th century
    9. new 20th century – Georgette Heyer, An infamous army.
    10. new 20th century
    Your readers are obviously great re-readers of Jane Austen, Loretta. That fragment from Persuasion was the only one I recognised straight-off, same as everyone else.

    Reply
  48. 1. old 19th century
    2. old 17th century
    3. old 19th century
    4. new 20th century
    5. old 19th century
    6. new 21st century – Loretta Chase, Lord Perfect.
    7. old 19th century
    8. new 20th century
    9. new 20th century – Georgette Heyer, An infamous army.
    10. new 20th century
    Your readers are obviously great re-readers of Jane Austen, Loretta. That fragment from Persuasion was the only one I recognised straight-off, same as everyone else.

    Reply
  49. 1. old 19th century
    2. old 17th century
    3. old 19th century
    4. new 20th century
    5. old 19th century
    6. new 21st century – Loretta Chase, Lord Perfect.
    7. old 19th century
    8. new 20th century
    9. new 20th century – Georgette Heyer, An infamous army.
    10. new 20th century
    Your readers are obviously great re-readers of Jane Austen, Loretta. That fragment from Persuasion was the only one I recognised straight-off, same as everyone else.

    Reply
  50. 1. old 19th century
    2. old 17th century
    3. old 19th century
    4. new 20th century
    5. old 19th century
    6. new 21st century – Loretta Chase, Lord Perfect.
    7. old 19th century
    8. new 20th century
    9. new 20th century – Georgette Heyer, An infamous army.
    10. new 20th century
    Your readers are obviously great re-readers of Jane Austen, Loretta. That fragment from Persuasion was the only one I recognised straight-off, same as everyone else.

    Reply

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