"Location, location, location": a proverb?

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon May 28 14:19:48 UTC 2007

On May 28, 2007, at 4:57 AM, Charlie Doyle wrote:

> If "Location, location, location" can rightly be called a proverb,
> then is it this exact saying or just the "X, x, x" formula that's
> proverbial?
> Last night on _Cold Case_ (CBS-TV; a rerun, I believe) the saying
> was "Reputation, reputation, reputation"--uttered as if it's
> proverbial. What other such retriplications (?!) exist?
> Prince Hamlet was famously prone to an expressive tic of
> triplicity: "Except my life, except my life, except my life";
> "Words, words, words"; etc.--but those instances seem to have been
> ad hoc, not traditional (that is, proverbial).

just so.  a crucial piece of the X3 figure is "the three most
important things in X are..." or an equivalent -- originally
explicit, but increasingly implicit these days.  repetition for
effect has, of course, been around forever, but the formula seems to
be a 20th-century thing.


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