[lit-ideas] Re: Gathering the Ships & troops

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 15:48:11 -0700

On May 7, 2008, at 10:20 AM, Lawrence Helm wrote:

Atkinson describes Patton in some length. He was conscious of the tendencies Gallup describes and was threatening in his speeches to his troops, even to his officers. He kept them fighting by kicking their butts until they did. He warned them that if they ran from the German guns, they were going to have to face his guns on their way back.

Before going off to North Africa, Patton visited his hero, General John J. Pershing at the Walter Reed Army Hospital. “A feeble eighty-two, Pershing had reminisced about their adventures in Mexico, where Patton had served as an unofficial aide-de-camp. ‘I can always pick a fighting man,’ Pershing said. ‘I like generals so bold they are dangerous.’ Patton kissed Pershing’s hand, as desiccated as a fallen leaf, and asked for his blessing. ‘Good- bye, George,’ the old general replied. ‘God bless you and keep you and give you victory.’”

Before I became distracted by theses, I was comparing Stanley Hirshson, "General Patton, A Soldier's Life," to the famous movie. But I had to stop, and so haven't yet reached conclusions or even notions that might be worth discussing.

Meanwhile, you or someone more fluent in Second World War lingo, or perhaps just fluent in plain old American, might be able to help me. One of Patton's dinner guests describes Marlene Dietrich as follows, "I was amazed at Marlene's excellent French. She was a bit disappointing in looks--a bit ty-ty, but made herself very agreeable-- unaffected."

What does "ty-ty" mean?

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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