[Ads-l] Fun with Phrases: "I don't make the rules."

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Mon May 1 11:32:00 EDT 2017


There's a 4004 BC antedating, what Gabe said to A&E as he escorted them off the
premises.

R.

> 
>     On 01 May 2017 at 16:03 Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> 
>     Heard a million times, right? But these appear to be the earliest on
>     record:
> 
>     1892 _St. Louis Post Dispatch_ (March 3) 6: I don't make the rules of the
>     department and am, therefore, not responsible for them.
> 
>     1938 _L.A. Times_ (Jan. 24) A2: I explain there is no provision for them.
>     If they resent it, I just say I don't make the rules.
> 
>     1938 _Trenton Evening Times_ (Feb. 19) 10: "That's the rule of the
> company.
>     I don't make the rules."
> 
>     1948 _Springfield [Mass.] Union_ (Oct. 1) 10: I'm sorry about this, girls
>     and boys, but after all, I don't make the rules [about obesity shortening
>     life expectancy]. I just tell you about 'em.
> 
>     The Readex evidence shows a surge beginning in 1968-69. ProQuest is
>     similar, with a peak in the '80s.
> 
>     Earliest GB: 1959. Next earliest: 1970.
> 
>     Note that the pre-1948 exx. are literal, straightforward statements.
>     Nowadays the phrase is at least as likely to be humorous or sarcastic.
> 
>     Strange but true: there are virtually *no* exx. (considering the zillions
>     of words searched) before the 1960s.
> 
>     JL
> 
> 
> 
> 
>     --
>     "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> 
>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>     The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> 

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


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