[Ads-l] Seen: _that=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=99s_swings_and_roundabouts=5F_=22that=E2=80=99s_?=apples and oranges"(?)

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Tue Feb 14 07:09:42 EST 2017

Yup to "A Briticism", though I'd guess the sequence "roundabouts and swings"
would be more common.

roundabouts = merry go rounds, carousels.


google disagrees with me -- 253K ghits for s&r vs. 6K for r&s, with the prefered
definition, "British. A situation in which different actions or options result
in no eventual gain or loss."

However, the original (if it be so) version *does* have "roundabouts and

"[Patrick Reginald Chalmers (1872-1942)] is also sometimes credited with
popularising, or even inventing, the phrase ‘swings and roundabouts’, meaning ‘a
situation in which different actions or options result in no eventual gain or
loss.’ In other words, ‘it’s all much of a muchness’. Chalmers used this phrase
– and the accompanying sentiment or meaning – in a poem titled ‘Roundabouts and
Swings’, which was first published in Chalmers’ volume Green Days and Blue Days
in 1912."



Not in the poem in this form, but: "What you gains upon the roundabouts, you
loses on the swings" -- roundabouts followed by swings scans more euphoniously
than vice versa.

(Chalmers has "What's lost upon the roundabouts we pulls up on the swings!" and
"An' losses on the roundabouts means profits on the swings!")


>     On 14 February 2017 at 08:11 Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>     "Though you can argue that it’s more convenient to simply put your phone
>     down on a pad than to have to plug in a cable, _that’s swings and
>     roundabouts_: a cable lets me continue to use my phone while I’m charging
>     it. Pick it up from a pad, however, and it’s no longer charging."
>     https://9to5mac.com/2017/02/13/apple-iphone-8-wireless-charging/
>     A Briticism?
>     --
>     -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
>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>     The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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