Oct. 31, 1906 (Wednesday)
PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR; STEP AWAY FROM THE DICTIONARY: Solicitor General Hoyt prepared a brief to present to the Supreme Court (above) that, the New York Times says today, was "studded" with words that are part of the controversial simplified spelling system. Samples were "fantasy," "dropt" and "kist." Chief Justice Melville Fuller followed along as Hoyt read his text, putting up with words such as "thruout," "fantom," "fixt" and the rest. Then Hoyt blundered. His text included a long quote from a decision by Justice Joseph Philo Bradley. When he read the word that was printed as "thru," Fuller pounced. Here's the exchange, as described in the Times. Fuller asked, "Is this supposed to be a quotation from Justice Bradley's official opinion?"
"Yes sir; in all except the spelling," Hoyt replied.
Then the writer had some fun with the next comment by Fuller -- taking a jab at the reform-movement's efforts to remove unnecessary letters:
"Ah-h-h-h-h!" replied the Chief Justice, with a long, rolling inflection, inserting five "h's" in a word that is supposed to have one.
The rest of the Justices grinned, and so did everybody else in the courtroom. Mr. Hoyt discerned the danger signal and hurriedly jumped off the track.
"Hereafter," he said, "I will see to it that nothing of this kind occurs. While we follow the President's order in preparing original briefs. I do not feel that we are justified in changing the orthography of judicial opinions, and I will see that it does not happen again."
A PERFECT BUSINESS FOR A SHARE-THE-WEALTH SOCIALIST: A young (27 years old) Joseph Medill Patterson has decided to follow a business that flows with his family's background: He has started a newspaper. He's wealthy and has a reputation of being a "parlor Socialist." The Newark News says the newspaper business is perfect for that because it's the "quickest way to distribute his wealth." (By the way, Patterson will become the grandfather of the former husband of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, herself a onetime journalist.)