When You Assume (1984)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed May 12 14:26:46 UTC 2004

At 9:50 AM -0400 5/12/04, Baker, John wrote:
>         I well remember an eighth grade teacher, in 1973, saying
>"when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me," and writing
>"ASSUME" and "ASS U ME" on the blackboard.  He said that he learned
>this in the Marine Corps.
>John Baker

But is West Haven, CT the first school system in which a teacher was
suspended (a few years ago) for writing that on the blackboard, on
the grounds that "ass" is an obscenity?

Larry (who was prompted by this episode to publish a letter to the
editor on taboo avoidance in the New Haven Register)

>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
>Of Bapopik at AOL.COM
>Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2004 1:38 AM
>Subject: American as Apple Pie (1921); A Little Garlic (1935); When You
>Assume (1984)
>WHEN YOU ASSUME + ASS + YOU + ME--2,300 Google hits,  3,880 Google Groups
>    Not a food phrase, but just going down the list.
>Chronicle Telegram - 4/1/1986
>...WHEN YOU ASSUME soMEthing, YOU put an 'ASS' before V and 'ME.'" They were
>right.....By Gary Larson WE RSKBP TO surnaME -ME ME 65 IT MS I..AFTBR HAVW M
>News - 5/7/1993
>...We all know what happens WHEN YOU ASSUME soMEthing: YOU make an ASS out
>of.....Ms. Ashley said. never occurred to ME to go through the criminal
>Frederick, Maryland Friday, May 07, 1993  527 k
>Re: Re: Re: The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson
>... Sorry for the misinformation. Greg Muth PS: "when you ASSUME, you make an
>ASS out of U and ME." Helen Flint My sophomore History Teacher
>net.music - Jan 9, 1984 by Gregory Muth - View Thread (2 articles)

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