Antedatings in the Yale Book of Quotations -- 19: Back to the Drawing Board

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Tue Dec 26 15:48:34 UTC 2006

On Tue 12/26/06 12:08 AM Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU> writes:

back to the drawing board (OED 1965)

1941 _New Yorker_ 1 Mar.  (caption of cartoon by Peter Arno) Well, back
the old drawing board.

Is this the cartoon that shows a crashed airplane with its nose in the ground, with the speaker being a not-very-penitent obvious-engineer?

I always _assumed_ (I saw this cartoon in the coffee-table book of New Yorker cartoons 1925-1950 which I first saw in high school) that "back to the drawing board" was a well-known expression at the time the cartoon was published.  Consider: would it have been as funny had the engineer said "It looks like we have to do a redesign" or some such?

OT:  why are the most fertile submissions to the ADS-list always submitted at 12:08 AM?

     - Jim Landau

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