"Location, location, location": a proverb?

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Tue May 29 02:41:57 UTC 2007

A related reference, one that has a bit of currency and usage in
other contexts but so far not nearly as much as the X3 one, is from
the movie _Fight Club_: "The first rule of Fight Club is - you do not
talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is - you DO NOT
talk about Fight Club." Referential instances similarly have a first
two rules in which the second repeats the first, usually
emphatically. There are also other variations, for example  "The
first rule of Soda Club is: beverage companies do not talk about Soda
Club. ... The second rule of Soda Club is, supermarkets DO NOT TALK
about Soda Club."

An important detail that is often (but not always) remembered about
the first two rules of Fight Club is that they were broken often --
every fight night there would be more people there, and of course the
only way they could know to be there was if someone talked about it.

It may be contended reasonably enough that this really just borrows
the older form (the origin of which I don't know) where rule number
two is "see rule number one" -- for example, "Rule number one, the
RSO is God; rule number two, see rule one"

And there is also the "there is no rule number two" style, as in

I think both of these predate _Fight Club_ quite substantially, but
I'm unaware of the emphatic repetition style from before _Fight Club_
-- at least it didn't find its way past my ears before then. And it's
goshdarn hard to search for unless you have a database that allows
wild cards.

James Harbeck.

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

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