on behalf of a researcher

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Fri Feb 17 22:24:19 UTC 2006

If I may obfuscate this issue.

I was reading a low newspaper from NYC, 1843 this afternoon when I came
upon this headline:
"The New York Sporting Whip versus The New York Sporting Herald -- The
Editor of the Whip supoosed to be somebody else -- We prove that "he am
just what he am," and not James Gordon Bennett."  The New York Sporting
Whip, February 25, 1843, p. 2, col. 4.

    The NY Sporting Whip was a weekly devoted to lowlife, scandal, and
laddish sports: horseracing, prizefighting, ratting, even
badger-baiting.  James Gordon Bennett was the publisher and editor of
The Herald, a daily genreally scorned by the right thinking.  Evidently
he had begun a second newspaper devoted to sports, which I haven't
otherwise encountered.  It appears that there was speculation that the
editor of the Sporting Whip also wrote for the Sporting Herald, but he
here denies it.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
Date: Thursday, February 16, 2006 5:37 pm
Subject: on behalf of a researcher

> this is posted on behalf of Aaron Britt, who is now doing the
> research and reporting for William Safire.  i've given him a
> moderately lame response.  maybe some of you can do better.  please
> copy your response to him at: aarondbritt at gmail.com.
> -----
> There is a phrase that has been in the news lately- Scott McClellan
> and Britney Spears have both used it in the last couple weeks and I
> wonder if you can tell me more about it.  The phrase is: It is what
> it is.
> What precisely does this mean?  How does this phrase function in
> conversation?  It seems to suggest that there's no more to say, or is
> this a ruse to try to shut down conversation?  When someone utters
> this phrase what are they trying to convey?  Can you think of other
> phrases that convey the same thing, or nearly the same thing?  Some
> that come to mind are 'What's done is done' or 'It speaks for itself.'
> -----
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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