A Grade Apart

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 4 18:14:47 UTC 2007

Why have the "grade on _the_ curve" and the "hit _the_ wall" of my
lost youth become "grade on _a_ curve" and " hit _a_ wall"?


On 7/4/07, Doug Harris <cats22 at frontiernet.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Doug Harris <cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET>
> Subject:      A Grade Apart
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I just spotted the following in The Daily Star (07/03/07),
> Oneonta, NY. (Please note emphasized phrase __xx__  in
> final paragraph):
> Signs against wind gone
> By Patricia Breakey
> Delhi News Bureau
> Signs stating, "Yes to green energy. No to industrial wind in Meredith,"
> have been disappearing from the homes of Alliance for Meredith members,
> residents said Monday.
> Sue Bailey, Alliance spokeswoman, said the signs began to vanish June 23
> when one was taken on Turnpike Road at about 11:30 p.m. The residents "heard
> this low muffler sound that sounded like someone turning around in the
> driveway and then speeding off," she said.
> The next night, she said, a white sedan with a loud muffler and at least two
> passengers __graded a sign__ on Dickman Road at 8:15 p.m.
> -------
> It would appear the writer meant the sign was 'leveled', or knocked down,
> but I can find no reference to such a use of the word 'grade'.
> If this usage DOES have a history, will you please grade me on a curve as
> it's a holiday?
> (the other) doug
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
                                              -Sam'l Clemens

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list