[Edu-sig] [edupython] Python in Education Advocacy Article

Laura Creighton lac at openend.se
Wed Mar 28 00:23:55 CEST 2007

In a message of Tue, 27 Mar 2007 16:47:31 CDT, "Michael Tobis" writes:

>I see that:
>"Ivan is a strong advocate of open source software and software libre.
>He thinks Python may well be the greatest thing since sliced bread."
>I agree about the sliced bread thing. I'd love to know why that is,
>though, if you can spare a few minutes to try to articulate it.

I find it really interesting the way language evolves.  Sliced bread
(as opposed to the sort of bread you have to slice yourself, i.e.
bought already sliced at the store) is nearly always wretched stuff.
It was, however, heavily marketed in the USA post WW2.  Thus 'the
greatest thing since sliced bread' began -- at least where my
father was living in Toronto just post WW2 --entirely ironically, and
was used to desribe things that were both terrible and hyped.

These days, however, most people who say 'the greatest thing since
sliced bread' are desribing something that they truly do find great.
I wonder why/when the ironic context left.  Perhaps it is a generational
thing.  I know that my father continues to use 'the greatest thing
since sliced bread' as a favoured way to express scorn, and my
language habits come from him.

Did it not have this context in other parts of the world?  Or was this
widespread, and is now dying?  I guess we need a dicitonary-of-idioms
and-expressions to go with the Slang dictionary ...


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