gives good camera

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 28 15:24:49 UTC 2008

Makes for a fun read.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
See - and the 4 truespel books plus "Occasional Poems" at

> Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2008 23:17:55 +0900
> From: laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
> Subject: Re: gives good camera
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Laurence Horn
> Subject: Re: gives good camera
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 9:40 AM -0400 7/28/08, Baker, John wrote:
>> Current use is probably heavily
>>influenced by the 1990 Madonna song Vogue: They
>>had style, they had grace | Rita Hayworth gave
>>good face.
>> I don't see any earlier "give good
>>face," but from the 11/7/1988 L.A. Times there
>>is: Face it, Jerome knows how to give good
>> I've listened to the Madonna song enough
>>that "give good X" no longer sounds unseemly to
>>John Baker
> I remember the putative graffito circulated in
> Hollywood a bit earlier: "Edith Head gives good
> costume" (or "gives good wardrobe").
> LH
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: American Dialect Society
>>[mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
>>James Harbeck
>>Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 11:13 PM
>>Subject: Re: gives good camera
>>>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
>>-- 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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