Ducks in a row (1938)
JMB at STRADLEY.COM
Fri Sep 6 15:32:17 UTC 2002
And the carnival booth betokens organization how?
I don't see that "in a row" says anything about the direction in which the ducks are facing.
The duckling metaphor is intuitive, but it does have one problem: The phrase is "ducks in a row," not "ducklings in a row," as it likely would be if in reference specifically to ducklings. A second possibility is that it refers to migratory flights, in which the ducks follow the lead bird, generally in two straight lines making up a V.
A third possibility is that it refers to shooting sitting ducks, that is, ducks that are on a lake and cannot quickly take off into flight. Are there any hunters among us who can tell whether the hunter makes any effort to get the ducks "in a row" before shooting?
From: Alice Faber [mailto:faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU]
Sent: Friday, September 06, 2002 11:21 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: Ducks in a row (1938)
> Mark A. Mandel writes:
>>Going back to _Make Way For Ducklings_, as an exemplar of the
>>single-file behavior of momma duck and babies, I think that the duck
>>connection *is* semantically plausible (not that I have any citational
>>or other evidence for it). Momma duck is the leader and organizer of the
>>expedition. Having the ducklings in a row following her is necessary to
>I dunno. "In a row" to me suggests facing broadside, not follow-the-leader
>fashion in a file or line.
Agreed. I get an image of one of those carnival booths where you
shoot a duck (cut-out) and win a prize. The ducks are lined up (and
moving) facing you (the shooter).
Alice Faber faber at haskins.yale.edu
Haskins Laboratories tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA fax (203) 865-8963
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