who will pick up the gauntlet?

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Sun Mar 2 04:10:27 UTC 2003

> From the Safire "On Language" piece published in tomorrow's NYT
>Magazine, p. 24:
>[on "duck tape"]
>The earliest civilian use I can find is in an advertisement by
>Gimbels department store in June 1942 (antedating the O.E.D. entry by
>three decades--nobody but nobody beats this column), which
>substitutes our product for the "ladder tape" that usually holds
>together Venetian blinds.  For $2.99, Gimbels--now defunct--would
>provide blinds "in cream with cream tape or in white with _duck
>Nobody but nobody can beat this June 1942 cite?   In any case, the
>above certainly does improve noticeably on the 1971 entry I currently
>find in the OED on-line (added Dec. 2001).  What gives?
Huh? "Duck tape" here is NOT the sticky stuff, properly "duct tape"
(originally intended for use in taping the joints in hot air ducts leading
from a furnace plenum to registers), but simply  (double) white fabric
tape, in this case with little woven-in straps connecting the two tapes to
support the venetian blind slats.
Think white duck trousers, summer wear, sailing wear, tennis wear, &c.
A. Murie

More information about the Ads-l mailing list