Maddened by Mad Men

Hunter, Lynne R CIV SPAWARSYSCEN-PACIFIC, 71700 lynne.hunter at NAVY.MIL
Tue Sep 20 20:10:53 UTC 2011

To reiterate what I said privately to Ben, after having been locked out
of the ADS-List earlier today: At least it's good to hear that _somebody
else_ was annoyed!

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Ben Zimmer
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 10:00
Subject: Re: Maddened by Mad Men

---------------------- Information from the mail header
Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Maddened by Mad Men

On Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 12:46 PM, Hunter, Lynne R  wrote:
> Recent annoyance from _Mad Men_: "Miss Holloway can hold down the
> "Hold _down_ the fort" is irritating enough in the present day (at
> to my particular ear) without its being ascribed to 1962 speakers.
> phrase conjures up a flighty outpost flimsily moored to some
> planet.)

Wilson Follett was annoyed by "hold down the fort" right around 1962, so
I think
the "Mad Men" writers were on the money here. Follett died in 1963, and
complaint about "hold down the fort" made it into _Modern American
published posthumously in 1966.

The Recency Illusion strikes again. That's not to say "Mad Men" always
gets it


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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