Posted by: Jack Henry | December 4, 2017

Editor’s Corner: First Day of English (2017)

It’s another December and guess what that means? The 12 Days of English! Yes, it’s that time of year where I torture you with horrible rhymes! Each day, however, I will follow those rhymes with tidbits on our language—not partridges in pear trees, drummers drumming, or ladies dancing. Well, there may be a few dancing ladies if you’re lucky. Enjoy!

On the first day of English

My true love gave to me

The definition of a minute

In New York City.

Have you ever been to New York City? Well, if you have, you’ve probably noticed the big crowds, heard the passionate and vocal people, and experienced the New York minute. I remember going to a deli and trying to order a sandwich and feeling trampled by the customers and the sandwich makers. Everyone was in such a rush! The yelling back and forth, the people trying to pull the order from my lips—I felt like I was moving in slow motion as the world around me was cruising twice as fast. It was certainly not a relaxing lunch in the park!

Here is a definition of the New York minute, from The Grammarist:

In a New York minute means right away, immediately, quickly and without hesitation. As you may suppose, in a New York minute is an American idiom, but it did not originate in New York City. Rather, the expression in a New York minute is a reflection of how people in other parts of the United States view New York. Compared to many areas of the country, New York City life is extremely fast paced. The term in a New York minute was first recorded in the mid-twentieth century in Piney Woods, Texas, though exactly where in the Southern United States this phrase originated is unknown. Johnny Carson, a popular American entertainer of the 1980s described a New York minute as “the time it takes for the light in front of you to turn green and the guy behind you to honk his horn.” These observations of life in New York City are for the most part good-natured, and perhaps even carry a note of admiration.

Have your order ready!

(Click here for a taste of

New York.)

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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