[lit-ideas] "To-Morrow is _another_ Morrow?

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 22:13:36 EDT

In a message dated 9/21/2004 7:46:13 PM Eastern Standard Time,  
Robert.Paul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
'Tomorrow is  another day,' is a tautology, even though it would be
difficult to say what  things would be like if it tomorrow weren't another 
or what empirical  evidence would falsify the observation that it is. If 
understands  it as a tautology, and thereby uninformative, they've understood 
wrongly. 'Tomorrow is another day' (it's hard to spell out precisely  what 
'really' mean) can either be an attempt at consolation, or a  warning not to 
too excited about how well things are going. 
I'm not very fluent in Anglo-Saxon, but I understand that the Anglo-Saxons  
did have another word for 'tomorrow', possibly shorter. 'Tomorrow', rather,  
makes reference to the 'morn[ing]'. So if you look at it closely, 'tomorrow is  
[another] day' is partially false in being incomplete -- a day is the  
conjunction of a morning, a noon, an afternoon, and a night. 
Perhaps the origin of the phrase was,
              "The day after today, there is a morning"
which is an existential guess at best.
More on the OED below. It seems to me that what is tautologous is:
             "Tomorrow is another morrow"
but even there I'm not sure. Cf. 'to-day':
           "Today is  another day"
looks contradictory (rather than tautologous), and ditto should look  
"Tomorrow is another morrow". It looks like TOmorrow is today's morning --  
grammatically speaking.
The quotes below show that English speakers have had a bit of a troublem  
trying to grasp what they mean by 'tomorrow' (cfr. French 'demain', poses the  
same problems). I guess the Anglo-Saxon way of putting it was, oh so much  
[Middle  English from toto<NOB, tomorwen (see tomorn), with dropping of final 
-n, and later of  -e, as in inflexions of nouns and vbs., etc. When the final 
e was  lost, w was vocalized to -ow, as in arrow, borrow,  sorrow. Cf. 
1275 Passion our Lord  140 in O.E. Misc.  41  
Er hit beo day to  morewe al Eer hit schal go.  
1290 S. Eng.  Leg. I. 393/29 
us time to-moruwe cum  ein.  
1297 R. GLOUC. (Rolls) 2838  
Hii Hii  tomorwe ariue at te hauene of toteneys.  
1320 Sir  Tristr. 2089  
To morwe y schal hir  se.  
1380 Sir  Ferumb. 3513  
<NOBR>T  on e spryng of e day..to e pauyllouns take e way.  
1382 WYCLIF Ecclus. xx. 16  
To day leeneth a man,  and to moru [1388 to morewe] he asketh it bi ple.  
1386 CHAUCER Knt.'s T. 1544  
Thanne helpe me lord  tomorwe in my bataille.  
1426 AUDELAY Poems 25  
To-morw or hit be day.  
1484 CAXTON Fables of  Ã?sop V. viii,  
To morowe on the  mornyng..sende me a dyssh ful of mylk.  
1568 GRAFTON Chron. II. 368  
Euery day in the weeke  it was sayde, he departeth to morwe.  
1628 PRESTON New Covt. (1634) 435  
This doing of it now,  and now, and to morrow, and to morrow, these little 
distances deceive us, and  delude us.  
1709 PRIOR Song â??If wine  & music have the powerâ??, But She to Morrow  will 
1897 Outing (U.S.) XXIX. 383/2  
â??Sometime; not to-day;  to-morrowâ??. This is the stereotyped answer which a 
Turk has always at his  tongue's end.

1871, etc. [see jam  tomorrow s.v. JAM  n.2 b].  
1957 Listener 15 Aug. 223/1  
An accelerated  movement towards independence: Ghana yesterday; Nigeria, 
French West Africa, the  Cameroons,  tomorrow.

1699 J. KIRKTON Hist. Ch.  Scot. (1817) 126  
After he hade drunk  liberally in the Advocate's house that same day, went to 
bed in health, but was  taken up stark dead to~morrow morning.  
1717 WODROW Let. to J.  Hart 8 Oct.,  
A committee for peace  was proposed to-morrow, who heard the ministers and 
Mr. Anderson upon the heads  of complaint.

1386 CHAUCER Melib. 829  
The goodnesse  at thou mayst do this day, do it,..ne  delaye it nat til to 
1485 CAXTON Chas. Gt. II. II. xi. 121 It is better to abyde tyl  to morowe.  
1526 Pilgr.  Perf. (W. de W. 1531) 98b,  
Knowest thou whether  he shall liue vnto to  morowe.

1535 COVERDALE  Prov. xxvii. 1  
Make not thy boost of  tomorow.  
1600 FAIRFAX Tasso VI. v,  
To morrowes sun shall  spread his timely raies.  
1667 COWLEY Ess. in Verse  & Prose, Danger Procrastination,  
Our Yesterdays To  morrow now is gone.  
1711 ADDISON Spect. No. 163 11  
A..Story..which I  shall relate at length in my To-morrow's Paper.  
1758 FRANKLIN Prel. Addr.  Pennsylv. Alm.,  
One to-day is worth  two to-morrows.  
1832 TENNYSON May Queen i, To-morrow 'ill be the happiest time of  all the 
glad New-year.  
1838 LONGFELLOW Psalm Life iii,  
To act, that each  to-morrow Find us farther than  to-day.

1943 J. B. PRIESTLEY Daylight on  Saturday ii. 5  
He belonged to  tomorrow's new ruling class.  
1959 Brno  Studies in English I. 73  
Progressive poets  preferred to look forward into distant future and 
dreamed..of a better  to-morrow.  
1979 Guardian 30 Oct. 32/8  
The Prime  Minister..told the Wales TUC that British industry was not going 
to get  tomorrow's jobs â??unless we move into tomorrow's  worldâ??.

1275 LAY. 17732  
Are to morewe heue.  
1382 WYCLIF Acts xxiii. 20 That to morwe day thou  bringe forth Poul into the 
1470-85 MALORY Arthur  I. xxiii. 70 He commaunded that..his  best hors and 
armour..be withoute the cyte or to morowe daye.  
1539 BIBLE  (Great) Matt. vi. 34 Care not  then for the morow, for to morowe 
day shall care for it selfe.  
1588  SHAKES L.L.L.  III. i. 161, I wil come to your worship  to morrow 
1596  1 Hen. IV,  II. iv. 564, I will by to morrow  Dinner time, Send him to 
answere thee.  
1681  OTWAY Soldier's Fort.  III. i, He shall be Crows-meats by  to-morrow 
1782  F.  BURNEY Cecilia  VIII. iii, To-morrow morning I shall but  call to 
see how she is. Mod. Can you spend  to-morrow evening with  us?

1725  BAILEY Erasm. Colloq. (1878) I. 70 He shall have it in a very little 
Time... When? To morrow come  never? [orig. ad Calendas Græcas].  
1770  COLMAN Man & Wife  III. 46 Marc. Very soon, my  dear! to-day, or 
to-morrow, perhaps. Sally. To-morrow come never, I  believe.  
1825  BROCKETT N.C. Gloss. s.v. Nivver,  To-morrow come To-morwhen two 
Sundays meet together.
1862  G. J.  WHYTE-MELVILLE Queen's Maries II. xxii. 10 Why should  you thus 
risk your life as if there was no to-morrow?  
1980 Guardian  Weekly 3 Feb. 1/3 Oil supplies that Americans at  home 
continue to consume as though there were no tomorrow.

1527  J.  RASTELL  Calisto &  Melebea sig. C1v, Well mother to morrow  is a 
new day.  
1603  FLORIO tr. Montaigne's Ess. II. iv. 57 A letter..beeing delivered 
him..at supper, he deferred the  opening of it, pronouncing this by~word, To 
is a new day.  
1824  SCOTT St. Ronan's III. vii. 192 We will say no more of it at present... 
To~morrow is a new day.  
1927  P.  GREEN Field God  I. 148 Go to it, you Mag and Lonie!  To-morrow's 
another day, and you'll need all you can hold.  
1956  M.  DICKENS Angel in Corner vi. 90 â??You can run  along now... Those few 
letters will keep until the morning.â??.. â??But there will  be a whole heap of 
new ones by the morning.â??.. â??I know, dear... If the letters  didn't come, 
that would be the time to start worrying. But tomorrow is another  day.â??  
1980  B.  PYM Few Green Leaves xiii. 107 He would probably have said nothing 
and so missed his  opportunity. Still, tomorrow was another  day.

1810  COLERIDGE Lett., to Wife (1895) 563 He is as  great a to-morrower to 
the full as your poor husband.  
1880  G.  MEREDITH Tragic Com. xiv, The postponer, the  deferrer, or, as we 
might say, the to-morrower.  
1824 J.  MCCULLOCH Scotl. IV. 300 The  Cras hoc fiet of this tomorrowing 
1897 Bookman Nov. 235 If  to-morrow..in its essential to-morrowness, has no 
objective existence.


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