[Ads-l] "We must increase our busts!"

Nancy Friedman nancyf at WORDWORKING.COM
Mon Jun 1 18:32:30 UTC 2015


Here's how I learned it:

"We must! We must! We must develop our busts!
It's better for the sweater!
It's better for the sweater!
For fear! For fear! We'll never wear a brassiere!"


The first line scans much better with "develop" instead of "increase."

If I recall correctly, the chant was accompanied by a series of vigorous arm pumps (elbows bent, fists clenched). 
____

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-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Berson [mailto:berson at ATT.NET] 
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2015 5:53 PM
Subject: Re: "We must increase our busts!"

In the spirit of cheerleading, wouldn't the first line scan better if it were:
     We must!  We must!  We must increase our busts!

Five iambs better fits the second line:
     We must! We must! The boys depend on us!"

And I can even imagine I heard it that way.  (There was one pretty bold girl, and busty as well, in my junior high school classes.)

Joel
     From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
 Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2015 6:08 PM
 Subject: [ADS-L] "We must increase our busts!"
   
I'd neither heard nor heard of this exercise for girls and what today's TIME coyly - and, IMO, incorrectly - refers to as "that catchphrase" - isn't it a *chant*? - in its last-page 10 Questions interview of the great Judy Blume, before it was discussed some years ago, here on the ADS-L.

The knowledge that there is a literary reference to this chant motivated me to Google it, leading me to a YouTube of Ms. Blume and another woman demonstrating the exercise with its accompanying chant.

Now comes the relevance.

According to Ms. Blume, the chant is simply,

"We must! We must increase our busts!"

In my wife's NE PA dialect, the chant is,

"We must! We must increase our busts!
 We must! We must! The boys depend on us!"

Naturally, anymore ;-), she finds that pretty creepy, but, as a ten-year-old, she thought nothing of it, one way or the other, not even knowing the meaning of the word, "bust," with any certainty, and with not the least idea or interest as to why boys would be depending upon the exercise having a positive outcome.

--
-Wilson
-----
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

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



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

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


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