"Virtuous circle"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 3 12:22:05 UTC 1999

On Mon, 1 Nov 1999, Paul McFedries wrote:

> This is not quite as popular as "virtuous circle," with only 434 L-N
> citations for 1999. Note, too (insert nod to Fred Shapiro here) that the
> OED doesn't have virtuous cycle (or even vicious cycle, for that matter;
> it does have vicious circle and vicious spiral).

This to me is the most interesting angle: that OED has _vicious circle_,
but not the more common _vicious cycle_.  The earliest usage I can find
for _vicious cycle_ is the following:

1921 _Amer. Jrnl. Sociology_ 27: 327  In typhoid fever, yellow fever, and
malaria the vicious cycle of the disease may be broken by controlling a
certain element in the environment ... as is readily seen there is no
intermediate part of the vicious cycle.

Fred R. Shapiro                             Coeditor (with Jane Garry)
Associate Librarian for Public Services     TRIAL AND ERROR: AN OXFORD
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            ANTHOLOGY OF LEGAL STORIES
Yale Law School                             Oxford University Press, 1998
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               ISBN 0-19-509547-2

More information about the Ads-l mailing list