Ducks in a row (1938)

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Fri Sep 6 18:20:02 UTC 2002

--On Friday, September 6, 2002 11:21 AM -0400 Alice Faber
<faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU> wrote:

>> 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).

This is a nit, but any ducks I've ever seen at carnival booths were
two-dimensional images painted on metal or plywood cut-outs, and they
passed by in profile.  Such a cut-out, if turned to face the shooter, would
be virtually invisible.  It seems just as natural to me (or maybe even more
so) to call a display like this "a row of ducks" as to call them "a line of
ducks."  I presume that the operator of the booth has to right any ducks
that were shot down by one patron--i.e., put them in a row again--in
preparation for handing the gun to the next patron.

Peter Mc.

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

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