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famous limerick by Lear
There was an Old Person of Dover, Who rushed through a field of blue
Clover; But some very large bees, Stung his nose and his knees, So he
very soon went back to Dover.
----- this use of [some] is also outdated.
----- also note Capitalization.
I guess each of [ Old Person ] is (both) capitalized
because he's the titular protagonist.
Edward Lear (12 May 1812 – 29 January 1888) was an English artist,
illustrator, musician, author and poet, and is known now mostly for
his literary nonsense in poetry and prose and especially his
limericks, a form he popularised.
Quite obviously, we are NOT supposed to picture an old person
every time Edward Lear writes about an [ Old ] Person of xxxxx .
Do you agree ?
I picture an active, middle-aged man. Maybe a bit older, but
definitely not old.
Didn't Lear do his own illustrations? Where one of his ditties said
"old man", the illustration showed a lanky codger with a flowing white
-- how young could this man be ?
In Lear's drawing, he could be as young as 30 or 25.
To be clear, the face definitely isn't 25, and almost as definitely not
30. Could be 45, which is young to be called old (even in Lear's time,
I'd guess). but 51 seems about right.
OK, but "old" is a variable feast that depends on the speaker. When I
was about 12 I mentioned to my parents something about two girls I'd
seen outside the Altrincham Hippodrome, a cinema. "How old were they?"
"Oh, quite old, I think" "How old is 'quite old'?" "About 17 or so."
Lear may have made concessions to scansion: "There was a middle-aged
person of Dover" would be clunky.
I think he (the "Old Person" in the limerick) could be a young man.
the adj [Old] here describes the story (as it were)
The Raconteur goes : (and, oh yes, speaking of that...) There was this
Person of Dover, about whom we've been telling this story for a long time.
-- this immortal story (like the other story about the sailor...)
Like [good ol' Charlie Brown]
Raconteurs have been telling this story about him for so long that
they refer to him as : (that) Good Ol' Person of Dover.
4.Familiar. -- When he got drunk and quarrelsome they just gave him the old heave-ho.
7.A grammatical intensifier, often used in describing something positive.
(Mostly in idioms like good old, big old and little old, any old and some
-- We're having a good old time. My next car will be a big old SUV. My wife
makes the best little old apple pie in Texas.
I don't think any of those fit.