Heard on NFL Blackhawks vs. Redwings

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Dec 30 09:55:17 UTC 2009

On Dec 29, 2009, at 7:17 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 12/29/2009 12:19 AM, Seán Fitzpatrick wrote:
>> FWIW, in 1966 at Ft. Bragg, our bayonet instructor informed us that there
>> are only two kinds of bayonet fighters:  the quick and the dead.
> Clear proof that modern usage is not limited to the literary effete.
> Joel

The question here is actually how many people get the "alive" meaning. The intended meaning is adequately powerful without it.

I was born in the year that usage occurred, and, had I not been primed by this thread, I doubt I would have gotten the "live" meaning in, say, a movie. Probably not in casual conversation, either. If an OE prof had used it, probably so, though still maybe not if I hadn't have my coffee yet.

As SF says below, it required for him "sufficient presence of mind" and there are surely many who have never run across the meaning, or forgotten the one time their eyes passed over it in a reference.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

>> I retained
>> sufficient presence of mind first to realize that he was not making a pun,
>> and second not to raise my hand and say "Well, duh!"
>> Seán Fitzpatrick
>> Help the ontologically challenged realize their potential
>> http://www.logomachon.blogspot.com/
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Laurence Horn [mailto:laurence.horn at YALE.EDU]
>> Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 10:19 AM
>> Subject: Re: Heard on NFL Blackhawks vs. Redwings
>> At 5:42 AM -0800 12/28/09, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at netscape.com> wrote:
>>>> Re the quick and the dead ...
>>>>>> Is that meaning still used? I don't think I've ever seen it outside
>>>>>> of references. BB

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

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