"As if" in Rushdie's latest

M. Rudge mrudge at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Mon Aug 16 05:53:45 UTC 1999

I recall hearing "as if" appearing much earlier than the cluless
movie. Wayne and Garth from "Wayne's World" on Saturda Night Live
used this expression regularly. I'm not sure if it originated in this time
frame but I remember hearing it for the first time from Wayne and Garth.
It has a california surfer lingo ring to it.
 On Sun, 15 Aug 1999, Ken
Miller wrote:

> When did "as if!" as a sarcastic retort come into general usage?
> I tend to associate it (and the related "what*ever*!") with the _Clueless_
> generation (the movie title, not a dig at that generation).
> So here's a scene from Salman Rushdie's _The Ground Beneath Her Feet_.  The
> setting is mid-1940s Bombay (relived in a flashback), and the narrator's
> mother has just built a soaring sand castle, or sand building:
> "'Skyscraper,' she named it.  'How'd you like to own a penthouse at the
> top?'  Skywhatter?  Where was a penthouse pent?  These were words I did not
> know.  I found myself disliking them: the words, and the building to which
> they belonged.  Besides, I was bored and wanted to swim.
> "'Looks like a big matchbox to me.'  I shrugged.  'Live in it?  As if.'"
> Somehow, this sounds a little anachronistic to me.  But what do I know?
> (This is not a quibble about the book itself, which I am reading with great
> pleasure.)
> Ken Miller
> Partridge School of Gentle Arts

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