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Supersonic Skydive 
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PITA Bred
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
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Location: The Quiet Earth
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Post Re: Supersonic Skydive

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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.


Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:27 pm
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
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Post Re: Supersonic Skydive
"No major breakthroughs" – ???

Consider: In the last few months, Bonnie Taylor-Blake and Fred Shapiro have taken a major 20th century Americanism (the figurative expression "full/whole xxx yards", meaning the total extent of something), one that has been debated and studied by the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary, the Historical Dictionary of American Slang, and other leading historical lexicographers and quotation researchers (and one which had seemed to "dead-end" ca. 1960), and they have shown that it is twice as old as anyone had realized, and have demonstrated a new and hitherto unknown source for its origins, and in so doing, have conclusively disproved the dominant folk etymology, the one having to do with WWII fighter plane ammunition belts.

Admittedly, if this is a big rock, it is thrown into a small pond. It doesn't bring peace to Afghanistan or solve the deficit. But in the context of the mysteries of American language usage, this is a major breakthrough.

And your suggestion re: Chuck Yeager is definitely worth following up on -- "The whole nine yards" appears at least twice in his autobiography. And he was at Muroc in the late 1940s. Good idea.


Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:40 am
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I'm curious as to when the "The Whole Nine Yards" came to indicate needing nine yards of cloth in a kilt. That is the context I first heard it used in conjuction with.

Rob


Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:27 pm
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PITA Bred
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Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:56 pm
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PITA Bred
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Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:01 pm
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