"You can't make this stuff up."

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 3 16:27:31 UTC 2012

I associate this observation with Dave Barry, and GB alleges he used it in
a 1987 book but won't prove it by letting me see even a snippet.

NewspArch reveals a genuine 1991 exx. set down by a person who is not Dave

Incredible as it may seem to us moderns, the phrase seems to have been
virtually or utterly nonexistent  before 1987 at the earliest.

The usual questions: How is this possible?  Were people so imperceptive,
including The Greatest Generation? Did they think you really *could* make
this stuff up? Was the mind so limited before the coming of Dave Barry that
no one thought to utter these words?  Were all traces vaporized by the
Thought Police? Why didn't they use "gay" to mean 'homosexual' in 1814? The
usual questions.

I've been hearing Barry's phrase a lot for much or all of the past decade.

Before that: silence,


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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

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