going dead, getting dead

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Sun Jan 16 23:31:12 UTC 2000

Actually, there was an interesting twist to the girl's use of "went dead"
(and Larry Horn reminded me of it too):  After killing the boy, she stuck a
battery in his mouth, thinking it might jolt him back to life, as she'd
seen happen in hospital shows; so, like a battery, the boy "went dead."
But I suspected the phrase might also be common in kid talk, no?

At 01:53 AM 1/16/00 -0500, you wrote:
>        Beverly Flanigan wrote:
>        >I haven't heard this one, but I heard something else new (to me)
>the other
>        >night, on "Law and Order" (which I watched for the first time and
>just "on
>        >accident"):  A young girl accused of murder said of her victim, "He
>        >went dead"--as if on accident.  I'm reminded of the old "He up and
>        >also as if accidentally.  Is "went dead" familiar to others?
>        Beverly: First, you don't have to apologize for watching "Law and
>Order" on accident or otherwise - with "The West Wing," it is the only
>two-hour block worth watching these days. I hadn't heard "went dead" before,
>either, but, remember, in the L&W episode, it was spoken by a six(or
>eight?)-year-old sociopath, so I don't think it was intended to represent
>(or reflect) a common usage.
>        Jerry Miller

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