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. lynne --------------------------------------------------------------------- M. Lynne Murphy 104lyn[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Department of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340 University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-4199 Johannesburg 2050 SOUTH AFRICA