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Free Lunch 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 537
Post Free Lunch
Heinlein is often given credit for making the acronym "TANSTAAFL" into a usable word (see MIAHM). The phrase behind it, though, is a little older.

Members of the American Dialect Society have been researching this (and other peculiarities of the American version of English) for a long time. Fred Shapiro recently made a "discovery" (as such things go) on "Free Lunch":
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0903A&L=ADS-L&P=R5683&I=-3.

(Fred is the author of The Yale Book of Quotations, in which Heinlein is represented several times, but could be represented more.)

For further background, go http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?S1=ads-l and search for "free lunch" in the "SUBJECT" field.


Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:14 pm
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PITA Bred
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2401
Location: The Quiet Earth
Post Re: Free Lunch
Heinlein said that he got the phrase from Jerry Pournelle's father, who was politically involved in the 1920s and 1930s. I don't know how that ties into the larger etymological discussion.

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:28 pm
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