More old GI slang

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Apr 3 14:34:16 UTC 2006

I didn't mean to discourage you, Wilson.  Far from it.  All I meant was that I don't know the phrase and haven't seen it in print.  It seemed amusing to apply the word "literary" in this context.  You know, as a goak.


y at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Wilson Gray
Subject: More old GI slang

"You live in shit!"

Back in the late '50's and the early '60's, this phrase, with
sentential stress on "shit," was used by white GI's to
congratulate a person who'd unexpectedly had something
especially good happen to him, such as being assigned
to T[emporary]D[ut]Y, which both lowered one's work load and
simultaneously raised one's pay.

IAC, I've never been able to figure out the semantic reanalysis
necessary to use something really bad to describle something
really good. Of course, I realize that "bad" can mean "good."

-Wilson Gray

The American Dialect Society -

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