[Fwd: Safire/NY Times]

Joan H. Hall jdhall at WISC.EDU
Mon Dec 4 20:12:31 UTC 2006

I've just received the following query and can't give it time right now.
Can anyone help her? If possible, she'd like a reply by late today
(Monday) or early tomorrow. Her e-mail address is juliet.mohnkern at gmail.com.

Hi Ms. Hall-

As I mentioned on the phone my name is Juliet Mohnkern and I am William
Safire's research assistant for his "On Language" column in the Sunday
New York Times Magazine.  Currently I am looking into the word "
one-off" used as in the context: ""It's absolutely ridiculous to make
comparisons to people who did have performances out of nowhere and who
did have one-off performances. It has no substance" I had a few
questions below which I was hoping you could help me answer. Also
please include a brief biography of yourself as well as any recently
published books.

If you have any questions please call me at 860-997-8028.

Thank you,

1. What is the meaning of the word "one-off"?

2. What is its etymology?  Is it an import from Britain?

3. When was it first used?

4. When was it first used in the United States?

5. Why do you think its becoming popular?

6. Have you noticed any interesting citations of its usage?

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

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