Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Language Police

I have a question for you Imus fans:

When you betray someone, or you get rid of them after they no longer benefit you, you “throw them under the bus,” correct?

It’s a great phrase, and I had never heard it until I started listening to the Imus program. Since then, I’ve noticed it occasionally in other places, too.

I ask because the writer of this Op-Ed piece keeps talking about “throwing people under the truck." And he says it like 67 times. (It was written by David Brooks, who you’d think would know better from personal experience.) Has anyone ever heard this before? Did he think he would get sued by someone if he used the original phrase? It reminds me of the off-brand sodas in supermarkets, like “Dr Thunder” instead of “Dr Pepper.”

So my question: which phrase is the correct one?

4 comments:

Al said...

'Under the bus is the correct one, isn't it?...

seems everyone is using that phase these days...I think Brooks is just trying to be different.

Back in March, a local writer wrote Under the bus...everyone is there

Al said...

btw, in case anyone is interested, they replay Imus in the Morning during the weekends out here...a couple hours of the show are played weekend mornings and evenings.

and you can listen to a an online stream at KTBL

CG said...

I think you're right, Al, that the original is "bus." I just remember being confused when reading that article. I was going, "Wait...that isn't right, is it?"

And that's really cool with KTBL...I didn't know that they did that. I will have to check that out. Thanks for the tip.

Queenpat said...

It started out with " There's a stage leaving in five minutes...be under it"

From stage, to bus to truck...all heavy vehicles with the amazing job of squashing someone who happens to be under one.

I've heard steamroller used as well. So, "bus" is the more common term, but any heavy vehicle will do, since the purpose is to completely squash your enemy.