gives good camera

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Mon Jul 28 03:12:42 UTC 2008

>Is it only the elderly who find this idiom (see HDAS s.v. "give") just a we=
>e bit unseemly for daytime TV?

I can recall seeing "give good meeting" and "give
good lunch" back in the '80s; they were, of
course, playing on "head," but this turn of
phrase (give good X) seems by now to have been
around long enough that it's getting tame and may
even no longer have the resonances it first had
-- sort of like how "jerk" (to describe an
unpleasant person) for many people doesn't seem
to be a masturbation reference now. I confess if
I were to hear "He gives good camera" from, say,
a news anchor, it might make me snarf my beverage
at first, but I can't say it would seem
unutterably outré to me (of course, I'm only 40).

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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