[Ads-l] to ------ drive (fill in blank)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 24 23:25:26 UTC 2015


On Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 9:52 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> A direct antecedent of "to reckless drive" is "to low-crawl," which is
> universal in the armed forces. I don't know if it antedates the VN War,
> though.

My guess is that it does, learning and using the low crawl being one of the
more unforgettable aspects of basic training and one that engenders great
respect for the infantryman. The low crawl is hard to describe, but it
entails lying as flat on the ground as possible, so that your face has to
be turned to the side, and moving forward as quickly as possible, even
though your immediate impression is that it's not possible to move at all,
while in that position.

There's also a "high crawl," which is "high" only when contrasted with the
low crawl.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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