"We ARE x !"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 17 13:59:11 UTC 2011

"We are the World" was recorded in 1985.


1956  J. Krishnamurti _Commentaries on Living: Third Series_
(rpt.1967: Wheaton, Ill.: Quest) 78: As you say, the world is of our
own making; the world is us and we are the world. To change the world
we must change ourselves....Regeneration must therefore begin with


On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 8:44 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "We ARE x !"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Just to be clear--there IS a reduced version--"We ARE 99%!"
> Two more points of reference. If we go back far enough, we get "We are
> the World!" song, although that clearly had a different stress pattern.
> On the other hand, there is a current series of Farmers Insurance
> commercials that includes the phrase, "We ARE insurance," followed by a
> "We are Farmers!" jingle.
>     VS-)
>> I know, I know--it does not sound as romantic once you insert the
>> article...
>>     VS-)
>> On 11/16/2011 4:04 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>> News reports over the past several days have occasionally included
>>> Penn State students both defending and deploring legendary coach Joe
>>> Paterno as well as offering gestures of goodwill to the alleged
>>> victims of Jerry Sandusky.
>>> The sudents can be heard chanting or emphatically asserting as
>>> individuals, "We ARE Penn State!"  I'm not sure what that's supposed
>>> to mean beyond, "Harken to us!"
>>> A few years ago, "We ARE Virginia Tech!" was the refrain of an alleged
>>> poem by Nikki Giovanni, written in the wake of an even worse
>>> situation. It seemed to mean, "We of VT are strong enough to get
>>> through absolutely anything unfazed."
>>> Both of these usages seemed familiar, but how?
>>> In another one of those epiphanous moments, I suddenly recalled that
>>> 1976 film _Taxi Driver_ ("You talkin' to  me? You talkin' to *me*?
>>> Well, you must be talkin' to me, 'cause I'm the only one here!")
>>> featured a slick political candidate, target of the insane Travis
>>> Bickel, who was running on the slogan "We ARE the People!"   (Cf. "We
>>> ARE the 99%!" )
>>> The irony seemed to be that the slogan in the film was utterly vapid.
>>> It reminded me of the equally inane, but seriously intended, "Nixon's
>>> the One!" of 1968.
>>> Moral: yesterday's inanity, today's inspiration.
>>> JL
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