Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 10:32:50 -0400


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.