"screw the pooch" (UNCLASSIFIED)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 17 23:11:38 UTC 2013

Bill Mullins wrote:
> If I search Google Books for "Screw the pooch", delimited by date from
> 1900 to 1970, I get one hit for "Canticle for Liebowitz" (in a "no
> preview" version), dated supposedly 1959.
> If I search the Amazon version of the book for "pooch", I get nothing.
> This isn't helpful to Ben's request, but it is odd . . . .

Bill: The goodreads website has a review of the novel "A Canticle for
Leibowitz" and the phrase "screw the pooch" was used by the reviewer.
Why is this relevant? I hypothesize that the Google search engine is
using this type of indirect "associational" informational to generate
false positive matches.

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

[Begin excerpt]
Thus we see the overarching theme of Miller’s masterpiece; the
cyclical nature of history. Miller’s moral : as a species we are too
stupid not to truly learn from our past blunders and are doomed to
continue to screw the pooch and the planet with our giant, atomic
phalluses. I know, not exactly a cheery, pump it up pep talk. However,
the tone and the narrative style are anything but dreary.
[End excerpt]


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

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