OT: War of 1812

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu May 27 19:37:51 UTC 2010

At 3:13 PM -0400 5/27/10, Wilson Gray wrote:
>I think that I was in the '50's, before I even knew that the U.S. had
>tried to invade Canada. I knew that there had been some battle on the
>Great Lakes that gave birth to some saying that I can't recall, at the

I was thinking either "Don't fire till you see the whites of their
eyes" or "I have not yet begun to fight", but maybe those were both
from the Revolutionary War.  "In 1814 we took a little trip, along
with Col. Jackson down the mighty Mississip?"  No, that was actually
after the war was over, and it's not exactly a saying.  "Damn the
torpedoes, full speed ahead"?

>  But I didn't know that it had anything to do with the War of
>1812. In the '60's, I read somewhere or other that D.C. had been
>captured in that war. I thought, "Wait a minute! If the enemy torched
>our capital, how can it be claimed that the U.S. has 'never lost a war
>(so, how can we possibly be allowing some French-Indo-Chinese savages
>in breechclouts to kick our ass?)'"
>Technically speaking, I guess that
>it's not a loss, if there's no formal surrender, but WTF? It's at
>least a TKO!

It's like those "perfect games (with the exception of the two walks
and the three-run homer in the eighth)" we were talking about.


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list