On 21 Mar 2001, Phil Carmody wrote:
> On Wed, 21 March 2001, Matt Jensen wrote:
> > Well, tautologically, yes. Galois did his best work before dying.
> > But we'll never know if he could have topped himself two years later.
> That truly is the worst wording ever.
> (or is it just UK slang to 'top yourself'?)
I'm not British. Hardy was British, and an excellent writer, but I doubt
he would have used that colloquialism.
"He topped himself" is perfectly acceptable and common (check a search
engine). It means either to outdo yourself, or to put a hat on ("He topped
himself with a bowler." Er, "Stetson."). The second meaning is an
archaic Britishism. The first meaning, as I used it, is common in
American show business, and elsewhere.
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