[Ads-l] heard (?) but not seen

David Barnhart dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Sat Feb 14 00:14:21 UTC 2015


Thanks, Jon.  That's basically my take on it.  eOED has a quote under
o'clock (I think) from the 1790's for "position".  The rifle range and
artillery usage seem to perhaps warrant a subdef.  Or, not.

Regards,
David

barnhart at highlands.com

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2015 6:18 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: heard (?) but not seen

---------------------- Information from the mail header
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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: heard (?) but not seen
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---

New to me, though in *theory* it could have existed since WW1, when clock
positions were used to identify shot patterns on U.S. rifle ranges.

But "six" only begins to appear in the 1960s - and figuratively not till
1980.

During WW2 it was customary to use the entire phrase (as in "Twelve O'Clock
High"), and even then - so far as I know - only in aerial combat and usu.
as a warning interjection.

At least according to the HDAS vault.

JL



On Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 4:40 PM, David Barnhart <dbarnhart at highlands.com>
wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       David Barnhart <dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
> Subject:      heard (?) but not seen
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------
>
> Yesterday I heard (I am quite sure) the term _twelve_ (meaning 
> "forward" or
> "ahead") in conjunction with "watch my six" (meaning "watch my back").  
> But I can't find it in the recent news coverage of the double murder 
> in a shooting range.  Any references (current or otherwise) would be 
> gratefully received.
>
>
>
> Regards,
>
> David
>
>
>
> barnhart at highlands.com
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



--
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