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Free Lunch 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 545
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":

(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 and search for "free lunch" in the "SUBJECT" field.

Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:14 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2402
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.

"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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