Nobody Does It Like Sara Lee?

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Mon Apr 18 21:04:06 UTC 2005

Like many others who have replied, until Bethany's post I had no idea the
slogan wasn't "Nobody does it like Sara Lee."  I won't go so far as to say
I never heard the first half of the jingle--I haven't a clue whether I've
heard it or not, but I'm sure nothing but the punch line ever registered.
To me, the song went, "Bla bla bla bla--probably some stuff about cakes and
such--bla bla bla bla / Nobody does it like Sara Lee."  That's about as
much as I retain from most commercials.


--On Monday, April 18, 2005 12:50 PM -0700 Allen Maberry <maberry at MYUW.NET>

> In answer to Larry's question below, as one who has always heard "Nobody
> does it like Sara Lee", I've never heard the first half of the slogan,
> nor seen any printed representation of it.
> I agree that hearing the first half would have made "Nobody does it like
> Sara Lee" impossible as the second half.
> allen
> maberry at
> On Mon, 18 Apr 2005, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> ----------------------- Sender:       American Dialect Society
>> <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> Poster:       Laurence Horn
>> <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>> Subject:      Re: Nobody Does It Like Sara Lee?
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> -------
>> At 1:06 PM -0400 4/18/05, David Bowie wrote:
>> > From:    Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU>
>> >> At 08:45 PM 4/17/2005 -0400, Bethany Dumas(?) wrote:
>> >
>> >>> I gave my intro to lx students a question on a recent test
>> >>> requiring analysis of the advertising slogan, "Nobody Doesn't Like
>> >>> Sara Lee." It turned out that until they saw the words on the test
>> >>> - and checked some URLs -- some of them thought the slogan was
>> >>> "Nobody Does It Like Sara Lee."
>> >
>> >>> (We never know what we are really teaching, do we?)
>> >
>> >> Only some of them?  I always heard it as "does it like"--presumably
>> >> bakes like she does, that is.  Two reasons, perhaps: The negative
>> >> nasal is hard to hear in song.  But more importantly, I couldn't say
>> >> "nobody doesn't like"; I'd say "there's nobody who doesn't like ...."
>> >>  So my grammar simply wouldn't "hear" the sentence you're citing.
>> >> Does anyone know where the slogan originated?
>> >
>> >> This reminds me again of the song "It's not unusual to be loved by
>> >> anyone"--totally ungrammatical for me.
>> >
>> > For my part, i never knew the slogan was anything other than "nobody
>> > does it like..." until i learned the shocking truth on this very list
>> > three or four years ago.
>> >
>> > This is, BTW, *not* because the actual slogan's ungrammatical to me--i
>> > can happily use the "nobody doesn't like" construction. However, since
>> > i'd only ever heard the slogan, and since "Nobody does it like Sara
>> > Lee" makes perfect sense as a slogan, my initial mishearing presumably
>> > became lodged in my brain--it's *still* heard for me to hear the
>> > correct jingle, even though i know what it's supposed to be now.
>> >
>> Did all of you who misheard in as "Nobody does it like Sara Lee" also
>> hear the first line of the jingle ("Everybody doesn't like
>> something") and the connecting "but"?  For me, this would preclude
>> the mishearing, since there's no obvious connection, much less a
>> "but" connection, between "Everybody doesn't like something" and
>> "nobody does it like Sara Lee", whereas the actual second line
>> ("Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee") makes perfect sense here, although
>> for some it may not make perfect English.  Maybe they discontinued
>> the first line some time ago; I haven't caught the jingle lately in
>> either one-line or two-line versions, so I don't know.
>> Larry

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

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