E for Effort (1940)

Barbara Need nee1 at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Tue May 4 14:33:20 UTC 2004

When I was first getting letter grades (1960s, near Cleveland), it
was A, B, C, D, and F. Early in the 70s (now north of Boston), they
changed the grading system and E stood for Excellent. Even though I
had not experienced a grading system where E was the worst grade, I
found it less than informative.

Barbara Need

>How old are you? I'm nearly 70 and it's "E for effort" that I recall
>from my elementary-school years in the early '40's. "A for effort"
>feels like a hypercorrection, as you imply when you say that "'A' is
>easier to understand."
>-Wilson Gray
>On May 3, 2004, at 11:17 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>>Thank you for this interesting history, Barry.
>>I've heard that version, but I more commonly hear, and I use "A for
>>effort". When I hear "E", I always wonder if it's a failing grade, so
>>"A" is easier to understand.
>>Benjamin Barrett
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]
>>>E FOR EFFORT--3,270 Google hits, 2,120 Google Groups hits
>>>  Who grades with this letter?
>>>  Was this coined by Bing Crosby in ROAD TO SINGAPORE?

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