Random memory: _rule_ "ruler"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jul 4 00:07:49 UTC 2013

On Jul 3, 2013, at 3:32 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> When I was in grade school, we called the ordinary foot-rulets that we used
> "rules." This was (is? also the usual BE word.

Not familiar with this usage myself, but of course those of us (even Northerners) of a certain age grew up using slide rules, which were never slide rulers.


> The trivial amount of
> interest lies in the fact that these rulers were Coca-Cola gimmes. On the
> back of each ruler was the "Coca-Cola" logo and the words:
> Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you
> My impression is that this was meant as a pun - both the tool and the adage
> are "good rules" - and, given that Co-Cola is a Southern company, perhaps
> this "rule" instead of "ruler" was (is?) a Southern regional use and not
> just a black thing. This use of "rule" for "ruler" isn't in DARE. But,
> Youneverknow.
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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