Antedating of "Outside the Box" (UNCLASSIFIED)

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 4 19:56:02 UTC 2010

Ron Butters
> I believe that I suggested this the LAST time "think outside the box" was siscussed in this form 7 years ago or so. But maybe that was some other forum.

There is a perceptive message in the archive from about ten years ago
that appears to be from Ron Butters (the identifier is blocked). The
message refers to the 1995 Safire article that I linked to above and
contains some cites.

Date: 2000 Jun 1
Subject: nine-spot problem & boxed-in thinking

In response to Jesse's query (I'll send more to anyone who asks for it):

The language columnist William Safire, in a May 1995 article in the _New York
Times Magazine_, traces one strand of the origin of the phrase THINK OUTSIDE
THE BOX to "a brain teaser used in 1984 by Development Dimensions
International, management consultants." However, this is the same "brain
teaser" discussed in the preface to Edward Prestwood's 1984 book, _The
Creative Writer's Phrase-Finder_ (Palm Springs: ETC Publications); Prestwood
seeks to explain the difficulties people have in finding solutions to
seemingly difficult problems, and introduces (page vii) the now-famous
nine-dot puzzle, ...

(The message continues in the archive)

The American Dialect Society -

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