Friday, October 17, 2008

You say Carousel, LSCH says Use Merry-Go-Round

The bookcharmer meandered today into new LCSH territory and would like to share her new knowledge:

Want to research Carousels? Your subject heading is Merry-go-round. It subdivides thusly:

Merry Go Round Art
Merry Go Round Art Collectors And Collecting United States
Merry Go Round Art United States 2
Merry Go Round Art United States History
Merry Go Round California Santa Cruz
Merry Go Round California Southern Pictorial Works
Merry Go Round Catalogs
Merry Go Round Conservation And Restoration Videocassettes
Merry Go Round Drama
Merry Go Round Fiction
Merry Go Round History
Merry Go Round History Juvenile Literature
Merry Go Round In Art
Merry Go Round Juvenile Drama
Merry Go Round Juvenile Fiction
Merry Go Round Maintenance And Repair
Merry Go Round Music
Merry Go Round Pictorial Works
Merry Go Round United States
Merry Go Round United States History
Merry Go Round Young Adult Literature
Merry Go Rounds Conservation And Restoration

Now, if you are wise to the bookcharmer's mental magpie habits, her love of shiny bits of information, you know what's coming next. Yes, you guessed correctly, looking up merry go round in the OED! I do not disappoint in my predictability:

First definition:
1. An amusement at a fairground or similar entertainment, consisting of a large revolving mechanism with model horses, cars, etc., on which people (esp. children) ride round and round (sometimes also up and down), often to musical accompaniment; a carousel.

First printed usage:
1729 Daily Post 23 Aug., Here's the merry-go-rounds: Come, who rides?

Of course, the word carousel must also be consulted:

2. A merry-go-round, a roundabout. Also attrib. Chiefly U.S. (where freq. written carrousel).

And it has some lovely usage examples:

1673 R. FOLYARTE Let. in D. Braithwaite Fairground Archit. (1968) iii. 34 A new and rare invencon knowne by the name of the royalle carousell or tournament being framed and contrived with such engines as will not only afford great pleasure to us and our nobility in the sight thereof, but sufficient instruction to all such ingenious young gentlemen as desire to learne the art of perfect horsemanshipp. 1899 N.Y. Times Illustr. Mag. in F. Fried Pict. Hist. Carousel (1964) iii. 82 A carousel costs from $300 to $10,000 according to the decoration and finish... A carousel that will seat 60 riders measures 40 feet in diameter and costs $2,200.

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