Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 09:58:56 -0500
From: Allan Denchfield dench[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CAMBRIDGE.VILLAGE.COM
Subject: Re: Get Over It
On Mon, 12 Dec 1994, Lisa Gray wrote:
I'm a reporter for the Washington City Paper, and am working on a
story about how a phrase can temporarily take on an added meaning.
Specifically, I'm writing about Marion Barry's advice to white voters
upset that he'd won the Democratic mayoral primary: "Get over it."
Local politicians and the Washington media buzzed with the phrase for
a few weeks, turning it to whatever subject was at hand. Nervous about
voting for a Republican? Get over it. Do you believe Congress will
allow the District both a commuter tax and an increased federal
payment? Get over it. And so on.
Eventually, though, the phrase seemed to lose its edge, and its
appearances dropped off.
I'm looking for an academic who could comment on such phrases' short
half-lives. If you could--or if you know someone who could--please
send me e-mail.
I'll leave the analysis to others, but I also recall the appropriation
(from a commercial) by political figures (Mondale?) of the phrase'
"where's the beef?" Doesn't every catchy jingle have this potentiality of
being re-worked into a new context?