[Ads-l] Modern Proverb: If you are not at the table, you may be on the menu.

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 16 13:48:13 UTC 2020

Way back in October 2014 there was a thread about the adage in the subject line.


After receiving multiple requests I finally decided to create an
entry. The earliest citation in the QI article is not new. It already
appeared in the wonderful reference “The Dictionary of Modern


[Begin acknowledgement]
Great thanks to Bill Flounders, Stephen Cirrincione, Dan Goncharoff,
Steven Blumrosen, David Holland, and Dave Hill whose inquiries and
comments led QI to formulate this question and perform this
exploration. Thanks to researchers Charles C. Doyle, Wolfgang Mieder,
and Fred R. Shapiro whose reference work included the 1993 and 2002
citations. Thanks also to  researcher Barry Popik for his efforts.
Further thanks to discussion participants: Laurence Horn, Ben Zimmer,
Joel S. Berson, and Jonathan Lighter.
[End acknowledgement]

Barry Popik's excellent website has an article on this topic which
includes a snippet citation from "Automotive News". Barry lists a year
of 2000 based on the Google metadata. If that year were correct then
this would be the second earliest citation. But the year is incorrect.
The snippet mentions 2010, and a search for 2009 shows that cars with
the model year 2009 have already been released according to the text.



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

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