My way or the highway
Posted: 09 June 2013 10:24 PM   [ Ignore ]
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How old is this phrase? Does it have a known originator?

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Posted: 10 June 2013 03:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Google ngrams has the first occurrence in 1979.  That was with lower case my.  Make it upper case My and we get a little blip from 1969 to 1975.

[ Edited: 10 June 2013 03:35 AM by Faldage ]
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Posted: 10 June 2013 05:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Definitely got to be older than 1979.  The phrase conjures up images of my sixth-grade gym coach (shudder), circa 1973.

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Posted: 10 June 2013 05:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Another example of why you shouldn’t trust Google Books or the Ngram program for dates.

Fiddling around (I used the Google ngram viewer for British English and then clicked on the Search Google Books 1800-1981), and two uses of the phrase in Gil Scott Heron’s 1972 “The Nigger Factory” popped up. It’s snippet view, so someone will have to check an actual book to ensure its not a bogus hit. The book does not show up when you simply search Google Books or when you use the general or American corpus on the Ngram viewer--strange because it’s an American, not a British, book.

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Posted: 10 June 2013 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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cheers.

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Posted: 10 June 2013 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I see Vince Lombardi quoted as saying “It’s my way or the highway” ... quoted as a recent utterance in a newspaper in August 1969. I made a brief search only.

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