Thirty! 
Posted: 21 November 2019 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]
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There is an obituary of sorts for a homeless woman named Mrs. Minnie Gayton, nicknamed Minnie the Moocher, in the November 24 1951 edition of the Indianapolis Recorder, which apparently was an African-American newspaper.  After describing the scene at the funeral home and the procession to the cemetery, the piece concludes: “Minnie the Moocher is gone—but her memory lingers on.  Thirty!”

I don’t know what “Thirty!” means in this context and I don’t know where to begin looking it up.  Well, I tried googling a few terms like “Negro slang"+"thirty" but found nothing.  Has anyone ever heard of it, or have a reference book that lists it? 

https://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=INR19511124-01.1.12

Edit:  To read the actual obituary, click the link above and then go to Page 12 where it’s in the lower left-hand corner.  You’ll almost certainly have to enlarge the view to read it.

[ Edited: 21 November 2019 09:17 AM by jtab4994 ]
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Posted: 21 November 2019 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think that in a journalistic convention “30” means that there is no more to this article.

It would have “snuck” through since 30 was only used in the typed page handed to the typographer not to be included in the actual news item. Eyehawk would known.

I wonder if it is still used.

[ Edited: 21 November 2019 10:48 AM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 21 November 2019 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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-30- has been traditionally used by journalists in North America to indicate the end of a story.

(The origin is disputed.)

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Posted: 21 November 2019 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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That explains it.  Thank you, gentlemen!

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Posted: 21 November 2019 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Oecolampadius, that was not something I ever ran across. I worked for a small newspaper for a short time, but only worked on ads. I never worked as a typesetter. The rest of my career was doing hand lettering and cut and paste work, then transitioning to the same thing on computer.

[ Edited: 21 November 2019 04:23 PM by Eyehawk ]
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Posted: 22 November 2019 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Green’s Dictionary of Slang has an 1889 citation:

1889 [US] Kansas Times and Star 7 May n.p.: At midnight ‘30’ (the end) flashed out on a large floral ‘sounder’ and a majority of the guests [...] adjourned [DA].

The Wikipedia claim that it appears in the Phillips Code of telegraph abbreviations used by the Associated Press appears to be incorrect. At least, it’s not in the original 1879 edition (which has no numerical codes, only letters). It may have been added in a later supplement though.

The one thing that gives me pause about this explanation for its appearance in this obituary is that every example of the printer’s mark I’ve seen has used the numbers 30, not the spelled out thirty. Still, it’s the most likely explanation.

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Posted: 22 November 2019 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The one thing that gives me pause about this explanation for its appearance in this obituary is that every example of the printer’s mark I’ve seen has used the numbers 30, not the spelled out thirty. Still, it’s the most likely explanation.

It does seem like a likely explanation, but why the exclamation point on “Thirty!”?

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Posted: 22 November 2019 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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From the OED

thirty, adj. and n.

3. (See quot. 1895) U.S. Also in journalism, broadcasting, and wider slang use.

1895 I. K. Funk et al. Standard Dict. Eng. Lang.  Thirty..among printers and telegraphers, the last sheet, word, or line of copy or of a despatch; the last; the end.
1929 Amer. Speech 4 290 ‘30’ or ‘Thirty’ indicates the end of a shift or of the day’s work, and has come to mean, also, death.
1938 Sun (Baltimore) 20 Jan. 2/8 Newsmen..mourned today at the bier of Edward J. Neil,..who was killed by shrapnel while covering the civil war..in Spain. Prominent..was a shield of white carnations with a red~flowered figure ‘30’—the traditional ‘good night’ in the lore of the fourth estate.
1941 J. Smiley Hash House Lingo 58 30, end of anything.
1945 J. O’Hara in New Yorker 27 Jan. 22/3 ‘I say thank you and thirty.’ This last, the word ‘thirty’, is the traditional signing-off signal of the newspaper business.
1973 R. Ludlum Matlock Paper xxix. 251 The number 30 at the bottom of any news copy meant the story was finished.
1978 G. Vidal Kalki iv. i. 88 ‘When we know those two things, it’s fat thirty time.’ Bruce had obviously been impressed by journalism school.

*Bold emphasis added

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Posted: 22 November 2019 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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It does seem like a likely explanation, but why the exclamation point on “Thirty!”?

She’s dead?

Logophile’s citation in the OED

1938 Sun (Baltimore) 20 Jan. 2/8 Newsmen..mourned today at the bier of Edward J. Neil,..who was killed by shrapnel while covering the civil war..in Spain. Prominent..was a shield of white carnations with a red~flowered figure ‘30’—the traditional ‘good night’ in the lore of the fourth estate.

Perhaps a kind of cryptic tribute to an abruptly ended sad life.

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Posted: 23 November 2019 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I don’t see the problem/mystery.  Here, “Thirty!” is being used as a clever alternative to “The end!” It’s spelled out because it’s treated as a spoken exclamation, and it’s got an exclamation point because it’s an exclamation.

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