Not over the signature of yours

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LogicalConclusion

New Member
English
Mark Twain ended his piece "Ye Cuban Patriot: A Calm Inspection Of Him" with this sentence: "If the Buffalo Express thinks differently, let it say it in its editorials, but not over the signature of yours, with emotion."

For the life of me I can't deduce what "not over the signature of yours" means. Any ideas?

I don't know if it's relevant, but the article was written in 1869.
 
  • YMOPA

    Senior Member
    Russian
    From what I remember from my old days studies, that should be formatted differently:

    "...but not over the signature of:

    Yours, with emotion, M'Twain"


    - means "not what I wrote and signed with my name"

    Means, my opinions expressed in the articles I wrote and signed with my name for Buffalo Express, may not agree with the editorals in the said paper.
     

    outeast

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    To get it to make sense, you have to ignore the 'yours, with emotion.' It's supposed to be humorous. Many letter-writers have played with the conventions for ending letters; and in particular with the way we end letters with a phrase indicating respect ('yours; yours sincerely; etc) even when there is none. Here Twain is (semi-)jokingly showing what it really looks like when he signs his name (the letter is over his signature).

    Another famous example of playing with this 'letter ending' convention was Franklin, who ended a letter:

    You and I have long been friends. You are now my enemy, and I am
    Yours,
    B Franklin
     

    LogicalConclusion

    New Member
    English
    Thanks, sdgraham, and outeast.
    It's a bit more clear now. I think what threw me off was the fact that he used a period (.) instead of a semicolon ":" (I had to used quotation marks instead of parentheses there because the formatting thought I was trying to make a smile face!). In other words, instead of writing this:

    If the Buffalo Express thinks differently, let it say
    it in its editorials, but not over the signature of yours, with emotion:
    Mark Twain

    This was printed instead:

    "If the Buffalo Express thinks differently, let it say
    it in its editorials, but not over the signature of yours, with emotion.
    Mark Twain

    And the "but not over" part added to my confusion.
     
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