Posted by Jay Livingston
Ben Yagoda has a note on language, a hell of a note, on the disappearance of the phrase “a hell of a note.” (It’s in the Chronicle, here.) Yagoda says
I seem to recall that it was a favorite expression of Harold Ross, the founding editor of The New YorkerThe Chronicle article included picture of Ross, and while I don’t recall having seen it before, there was something familiar about it, something that reminded me of another legendary New Yorker.
(This was the best I could find at Google Images. A good still shot of Dr. Van Nostrand would have been better.)