Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 10:32:50 -0400
From: "M. Lynne Murphy" 104LYN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA
Subject: Re: with a bullet
i believe the origins of the bullet are of the typographical sort.
the bullet is from _billboard_ magazine, whose top forty list is, if
not the original (i don't know), at least the one that is taken to be
the most authoritive (sp?). the typographical bullet is placed in
the margin (i think--it' been a while since i've seen this) next to
items on the list that are moving particularly quickly, often those
that enter the charts at a relatively high point (i.e., a low number).
i think the success of the phrase, however (as spread through
deejays), is based on its metaphorical power. lots of people don't
know what a typographical bullet is (i certainly didn't when i first
heard the phrase as a kid), so the interpretation might be (as
it was for me) that the item is shooting toward the top of the list
as on a bullet. of course, this could've been on the minds of the
billboard people when they originated the bullet, or on those of
deejays, if they were the ones who originated the phrase.