[Ads-l] "the greatest thing to happen to TV since sliced bread"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 22 11:19:00 EDT 2018


There was a mailing list discussion in May 2017 about "greatest thing
since sliced bread".
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2017-May/147680.html

Peter Reitan created an entry on this topic that includes earlier
examples of "best thing since" advertising, e.g., "the best thing
since the jointed fishing rod" (1895).
https://esnpc.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-best-thing-before-sliced-bread.html

Barry Popik also has an entry which I linked in the previous mailing
list thread.
http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/the_greatest_thing_since_sliced_bread

Garson

On Tue, May 22, 2018 at 9:11 AM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:
> Sliced bread, when first introduced, was advertised as "the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped."
>
> But perhaps the question is more general:  In 1928, when sliced bread was introduced, did people say “it’s the greatest thing since X,” and if so, what was X?  People did say “it’s the greatest thing since X,” but X did not have a standard value.  X tended to be something historical, such as Columbus, Moses, or the Flood.
>
>
> John Baker
>
>
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Dan Goncharoff
> Sent: Monday, May 21, 2018 10:25 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: "the greatest thing to happen to TV since sliced bread"
>
> It's fire, then the wheel, then sliced bread.
>
> On Mon, May 21, 2018, 9:12 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
>
>> I’ve always wondered what sliced bread was the greatest thing since.
>>
>>
>> > On May 21, 2018, at 8:07 PM, George Thompson <george.thompson at NYU.EDU>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > Specifically, "the remote control is the greatest thing to happen to TV
>> > since sliced bread".
>> > From a commercial for something or other, heard, in part, this evening.
>> > I had forgotten that sliced bread had once happened to TV. I looked it
>> up,
>> > and it was in 1953, but my family didn't get a TV until 1954.
>> > Those of you learned in the study of language will no doubt have a word
>> for
>> > this sort of utterance. I call it muddled speech (alluding to an
>> > unavoidable TV commercial of 1954). *
>> >
>> > GAT
>> >
>> > * Doctors call it "Iron Deficiency Anemia". We call it "tired blood".
>> >
>> > --
>> > George A. Thompson
>> > The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
>> > Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
>> > Univ. Pr., 1998.
>> >
>> > But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
>> > your lowly tomb. . .
>> > L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems. Boston, 1827, p. 112
>> >
>> > The Trump of Doom -- also known as The Dunghill Toadstool. (Here's a
>> > picture of his great-grandfather.)
>> >
>> http://www.parliament.uk/worksofart/artwork/james-gillray/an-excrescence---a-fungus-alias-a-toadstool-upon-a-dunghill/3851<http://www.parliament.uk/worksofart/artwork/james-gillray/an-excrescence---a-fungus-alias-a-toadstool-upon-a-dunghill/3851>
>> >
>> > ------------------------------------------------------------
>> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org<http://www.americandialect.org>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org<http://www.americandialect.org>
>>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org<http://www.americandialect.org>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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