"stuck on stupid"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sat Sep 2 16:15:14 UTC 2006

On 9/2/06, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> On 9/2/06, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> > The anniversary of Katrina reminded me of General Honore's remark in
> > its wake that emergency management was "stuck on stupid."
> >
> >   Not only do I find over a half million Googlits, Usenet has it back to 1995.
> >
> >   Does it have some kind of anecdotal or pop cultural origin ?
> Dunno, but last time we discussed this, I found a 1992 cite:
> -----
> St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 23, 1992, p. 1A (Nexis)
> "This country has been SOS for 12 years, and by that I mean Stuck On
> Stupid," said Knies, a computer programmer downtown, who lives in Ballwin.
> -----

Guess I hadn't looked in Factiva last time...

Washington Times, Aug 11 1990, p. A2 (Factiva)
"We're talking about a government with hate in its heart coming after
one person using millions of dollars. We need to start letting {U.S.
Attorney General Dick} Thornburgh know that he shouldn't get stuck on
stupid and try this again. He needs to let it go," said Ms. Hughes
[sc. Cathy Hughes, D.C. radio talk show host].
Omaha World-Herald, June 30 1991, p. 4 (Factiva)
The Avenue, a new Omaha band, has released its first single on the
Omaha-based Euneva Records. The single release is a taste of the
forthcoming album, The Avenue. The A-side track, "Stuck on Stupid, "
provides an danceable R&B beat inset with educational rap segments.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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