Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 09:58:56 -0500


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?