[Ads-l] W:pedia: "Carry on, Sergeant" is a normal expression for an Army officer to use; ...

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 11 21:22:44 UTC 2015

On Mon, May 11, 2015 at 7:48 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> Interestingly enough, OED has "as you were" as a drill-field command from
> 1625.

I heard that. IME, "As you were!" was used only when an NCO inadvertently
made a mistake, either on the drill field - "By the left obl-... As you
were! By the right oblique, forward, harch!" - or in the imparting of "poop
for the troops": "Tomorrow morning, at 0700... as you were, at 0900 hours,
you will..."

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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