When You Assume (1984)

Wed May 12 14:42:23 UTC 2004

        AFAIK, West Haven is unique in this respect.  My own teacher suffered no repercussions whatsoever, so far as I know.

        According to that bastion of scholarly research, People magazine, the catch-phrase was used on The Odd Couple in 1973.  It's possible that that, and not the Marines, was my teacher's real source.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
Of Laurence Horn
Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2004 10:27 AM
Subject: Re: When You Assume (1984)

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)

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