[Ads-l] Query about the origin of a meme

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 10 14:34:56 UTC 2015

LH and Ben's comments were primarily aimed at tracing phrases such as
"...said no one ever" and "...said no one". As LH noted, these phrases
act as "retroactive cancellation devices".

A different but related question concerns tracing this comedic theme.
For example, a list of items detailing "Things You Will Never Hear
Your Parents Say" could be updated to employ the modern template by
appending the phrase "said no parent ever".

Below is an excerpt from a 1999 book in GB Preview.

Year: 1999
Book title: More Outrageous Ideas for Youth Ministry
Book authors: Todd Clark and Toby Clark
Series: Creative to the Max, Volume 2
Quote Page 36 and 37

[Begin excerpt]
"Things You Will Never Hear Your Parents Say"

10  I think your room is clean enough.
9  Are you sure you don't need more money?
8  Body piercing rules!
7  Just be back whenever!
6  We love Mr. Manson's music; it's just hard to get past  how he looks!
5  That tattoo rocks!
4  You look a little tired this morning. Don't you think you ought to
stay home from school today?
3  Turn it back to MTV!
2  Your mother and I would like to send you and ten of your friends on
a cruise for your graduation gift. Would that be o.k. with you?

"Number 1 Thing You Will Never Hear Your Parents Say"
1 Grades schmades! Just relax and have fun at school!
[End excerpt]

I think this comedic theme is quite old, but I have not found the
right search queries to find early sets of examples. Perhaps the
emergence of the phrase "...said no one ever" was aided by the
pre-existence of jokes that could be repurposed.


On Fri, May 1, 2015 at 9:54 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Query about the origin of a meme
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Oops.  How soon they forget, at least when they is me.
> LH
>> On May 1, 2015, at 9:51 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> We discussed this a couple of years ago, and I cited an SNL example
>> from Amy Poehler back in 2004 (though it's not quite canonical: "said
>> no one" without the "ever").
>> =
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttp-3A__listserv.linguistlis=
> t.org_pipermail_ads-2Dl_2013-2DMarch_126378.html&d=3DAwIBAw&c=3D-dg2m7zWuu=
> DZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DwFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3DRlZVABNVr=
> nK7_ulsdGczUP5QSaLYinRoqNxPDWxaj0I&s=3DQN2br-jA1U7Szz16H2YeLdxqchV1glXlRzV=
> FNei4ryw&e=3D=20
>> =
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttp-3A__snltranscripts.jt.or=
> g_04_04bupdate.phtml&d=3DAwIBAw&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DwFp3X4Mu39h=
> B2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3DRlZVABNVrnK7_ulsdGczUP5QSaLYinRoqNxPD=
> Wxaj0I&s=3DJJj3fjvbgBr2e5HazfeLhLYDpHo36hNWl2_LGpfoUJo&e=3D=20
>> Britney Spears is recording a rap song about the recent controversies
>> in her life. "I can't wait to hear that!" said no one.
>> On Fri, May 1, 2015 at 9:34 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>> Thanks, Garson.  So it peaked in 2013.  No mention of non-internet =
> usage
>>> like the "Weekend Update" occurrences I mentioned, but I guess even =
>>> runs a distant second in the era of the twitterverse.  In any case,
>>> between retro-NOT, sarcastic "I don't think", and now "said no one
>>> ever", there seems to be both a need and a short shelf-life for these
>>> retroactive cancellation devices.
>>>> On May 1, 2015, at 9:05 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
>>>> Here is a link to an interesting analysis:
>>>> Website: Know Your Meme
>>>> Article title: ...Said No One Ever
>>>> Article subtitle: Part of a series on Internet Slang.
>>>> =
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttp-3A__knowyourmeme.com_mem=
> es_said-2Dno-2Done-2Dever&d=3DAwIBAw&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DwFp3X4=
> Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3DRlZVABNVrnK7_ulsdGczUP5QSaLYinRo=
> qNxPDWxaj0I&s=3D-vLyhaq577ynY3iMX8dNM4j3yPY4d2gdBL3M_FHz_Hk&e=3D=20
>>>> On Fri, May 1, 2015 at 7:59 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>>>> ...namely, "...said no one ever" (or variants, e.g. "...said nobody
>>>>> ever").  It strikes me as similar to at least one use of the =
> 90s-ism
>>>>> (yes, as Jon and Jesse showed us, it's really an *18*90s-ism) =
> "Not!", or
>>>>> "retro-NOT" as I like to call it.  Here's urbandictionary's entry:
>>>>> =
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttp-3A__www.urbandictionary.=
> com_define.php-3Fterm-3D3Dsaid-2Bno-2Bone-2Bever&d=3DAwIBAw&c=3D-dg2m7zWuu=
> DZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DwFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3DRlZVABNVr=
> nK7_ulsdGczUP5QSaLYinRoqNxPDWxaj0I&s=3DJgWH26lEcImtP-ckyHvaLbt4nUFreyD8Wd7=
> jyr839G0&e=3D=20
>>>>> I first noticed it on SNL's Weekend Update, possibly from Cecily =
> Strong,
>>>>> but no doubt (like "...NOT", which wasn't invented on SNL. either =
> by
>>>>> Wayne's World in the early 90s or by Steve Martin in the 1978 Nerds
>>>>> Science Fair routine) it was already lurking, maybe in the twitter
>>>>> sphere.
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - =
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