Fun with phrases

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 29 21:14:30 UTC 2011

"turn your life around"

You know, redirect and improve it dramatically.

>From NewspArch unless otherwise noted:

1919 _Ludington [Mich.] Daily News_ (Jan. 7) 6: It pains the court to
sentence you and I inflict this penalty upon you now with the idea
that it will give you time to change your ideas of life and help you
to turn your life around so as to live a better man.

Giant gap.

1952 Norman Vincent Peale _The Power of Positive Thinking_
(Englewood-Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall) xv: So in the pages that
follow I shall simply describe what I discovered that helped me,
turned my life around. And I am sure that the same wonderful thing can
happen to you. I believe it will turn your life around also.

1963  _Newark [O.] Advocate_ (July 18) 34: God saved my soul, turned
my life around, made me over anew.

1969 _Heavener [Okla.] Ledger_ (Oct. 2) 5: TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND Enjoy
Day-Bright Washdays with a Flameless Electric Clothes Dryer.  [The
flaming kind also work. - JL]

Peale's use in 1952 must have helped popularize it.


On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 11:05 AM, Ben Zimmer
<bgzimmer at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Fun with phrases
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 10:35 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>> "The predator becomes the prey!"
>> I just heard it (again) in a promo for a TV special on shark hunting by humans.
>> 165 GB exx.  beginning in 1961
>> 70,000 raw ghits.
>> The earliest GB exx. refer to the animal world.  By 2000, exclusively
>> human activity is often referred to.
> Not surprisingly, "the hunter becomes the hunted" has a much longer
> history, back to 1875 on GB.
> --bgz
> --
> Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list