Expressions with Number Variation (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Thu Sep 13 21:21:42 UTC 2012

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Are you looking for a history where the number has (more or less) a
single value at any given time, but that value changes over time?

If not, I can find "hundred yard stare" in Google News Archive (25 hits;
1989-2011), and "thousand yard stare" (1100; 1958-2011).  But this may
not be evolution so much as some people just say the expression wrong.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
Behalf Of
> Shapiro, Fred
> Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2012 4:00 PM
> Subject: Expressions with Number Variation
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Expressions with Number Variation
> -
> In connection with the discovery that the original formulation of "the
> nine yards" may well have been "the whole six yards," Dave Wilton has
> out that "there are many examples of phrases with numbers that went
> multiple versions with different numerical values before settling on
the one
> that became canonical (e.g., 'cloud nine')."  Can Dave or anyone else
give me
> other examples of this kind of number variation?
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The American Dialect Society -

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