Suggestive Names

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Jun 13 19:12:32 UTC 2006

Former Secretary of the Interior Wally Hickel takes credit for this.  While I can't guarantee he was the originator, I believe I first heard about such a letter in the early
  ' 70's. ( )

  "My young aide at that time, Dave Parker, is now head of the American Gas Association; he was in his twenties then. Every morning he'd bring in the stuff, and he'd say, 'Mr. Secretary, you have to answer this letter.' Next day, he'd come back in and he'd say, 'Mr. Secretary, you have to answer this letter.' I didn't say anything. A couple of days later he said, 'Mr. Secretary, you have to answer this letter.' I said, 'Take a telegram, "F--- you, strong letter follows.'

"I tell you, that went around the world. I'm out in California giving a talk about a week later, and somebody said, 'Governor, what about that telegram you sent to [Sen.] Montoya?' "


Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Charles Doyle
Subject: Re: Suggestive Names

W.C. Fields's "evasive answer" has a variant (I don't know
who, if anybody, it has been popularly attributed to); a
telegram reads, "Fuck you. Strong letter follows."

A disgruntled associate of the dictionary-maker W.J. Funk is
supposed to have exclaimed, "Mr. Funk, you're a prink!"


---- Original message ----
>Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 09:44:21 -0400
>From: "hpst at"
>Subject: Re: Suggestive Names

>The story about Dorothy Parker I heard was that she was
working for The New Yorker and late with her copy so Harold
Ross sent someone over to get it and she told him, "Tell Mr.
Ross that I am too fucking busy and vice versa." which of
courrse brings up the story about the time W.C. Fields was
on strike so the studio head sent someone over to demand
that he come in. Fields being in no mood to deal with the
studio refused to come out to even meet the guy told his
butler, "Give him an evasive answer. Tell him to go fuck
>Page Stephens

The American Dialect Society -

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list