Pianos and Polygrades (and Softs Loud)

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An advertisement from 1852: Pianos and pencils getting nearly identical billing (let’s hope they weren’t nearly the same price). It’s interesting though that a reseller would count pencils among its high-quality items; in this instance the pencils in question are A.W. Faber’s Polygrades (more on those later).

After seeing “piano fortes” I couldn’t help thinking that pianos forte would read better, but that would be due to the influence of “piano” in modern usage. In other words, they sell “soft louds” not softs loud.

+1 for “&C.”

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2 Responses to Pianos and Polygrades (and Softs Loud)

  1. That’s a lovely ad, especially in its wildly varied typefaces.

    The plural forms reminded me of this Onion item: William Safire Orders Two Whoppers Junior.

    Like

    • Sean says:

      I don’t know what the technical terminology would be, but it’s interesting how the two Italian adjectives eventually compound into representing one noun (in multiple languages). Of course, not to be confused with the fortepiano.

      Like

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