"Tell It Like It Is"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 18 03:56:14 UTC 2008

If Cosell used it as a catchphrase, that certainly would have helped
spread it use to the general public. But was it ever commonly used by
the general public? I never had occasion to socialize with the general
public before the 'Seventies, by which time the phrase had long since
ceased to be hip. So, if if its use by the general public was ever the
case, it's news to me..


On Feb 16, 2008 5:28 PM, Shapiro, Fred <Fred.Shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <Fred.Shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      "Tell It Like It Is"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Can anyone illuminate the origins of the phrase "tell it like it is"?  Wikipedia says Howard Cosell had a catchphrase, "I'm just telling it like it is," but I am not sure how that fits in to the history of the expression.
> Fred Shapiro
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