Fun with Phrases: "based on the real-life story"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 8 13:29:50 UTC 2013

1927 Walter Duranty in _N. Y. Times_ (Apr. 10) E9: "The Mullah's Third
Wife" based on the real life story of a Tartar girl in a small town
of the autonomous Tartar Republic on the upper Volga, where Miss Squire
spent fourteen months.

1934 _Syracuse Herald_  (Sept. 9)  "Sutter's Gold" is based on the real
life story of Capt. John A. Sutter, a Swiss immigrant who came to
California in 1838.

The phrase becomes common in NewspArch papers in 1936 (with and without
hyphen) - but not in the N.Y. Times till the mid-1960s. (Bosley Crowther
used it once in 1945).


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

The American Dialect Society -

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