fun with phrases

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Oct 7 00:48:48 UTC 2011

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 7:28 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> "Suddenly, the rules had changed."
> Not usu. "rules" but conditions, common practice, etc. Another dramatic
> rhetorical cliche'.
> Nothing in GB before 1991. Nothing in Time archives.

"Plays by his own rules."

Virtually nonexistent before the '70s. The Ngram Viewer shows a big
jump in the '90s.


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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