Friday, December 01, 2006

Hear "Not So Much" Much?

I can't tell you how many times I heard the expression "not so much" over the Thanksgiving holiday -- and it wasn't from people refusing large helpings at the dinner table, either. I was mystified as to the origin of this trendy catchphase, but this article cleared it up for me.

I don't know -- I love the phrase, but I think it's already jumped the shark, don't you?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm..I resemble that remark, since it seems to me that I said, "not so much this weekend" Has the phrase jumped the shark? Well maybe but when I say it, it invokes an image of Alice, my favorite character on "The L-Word" who uses it frequently on the show. And if she's jumped the shark then so gladly have I.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Martha said...

Gee, now what in the world would you find appealing about a funny gal who writes for magazines and has her own radio show?

Oh wait - I resemble THAT remark.....

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jump the shark? I must be missing something. You have a great valley girl accent. And I love how you know the Latin and Greek basis of words.

Will you be doing the show alone with Richard retiring from the show?

2:02 PM  
Anonymous daz said...

I have a friend from Holland who when speaking English often uses locutions like "Not so much."

I suppose these modes de parler are standard in Dutch. I wonder if this "Not so much" trend (of which I had no idea) could have traveled here from the Netherlands.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Martha said...

Hi, anonymous -- there's a link to "jump the shark" in that post. (Or just go to for the original version.)

And to answer your question, I'll soon post something about the latest incarnation of the show. We have some very exciting news about that in the works, so stay tuned!

8:14 AM  
Blogger Martha said...

Fascinating, Daz -- I had no idea about the Dutch. Will have to be on the lookout for other instances of that. Thanks (as always) for the heads-up!

8:15 AM  
Blogger Clint Gardner said...

Not so much. I actually just thought it was a Jon Stewart affectation that people picked up on.

By the way, Martha, I direct a writing center and we've had a "word of the day" for a long while. Recently the peer tutors decided it would be a cool idea to put it online.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Martha said...

Very cool, Clint! Where is your word-a-day? (I did one for a couple of years back in the early '90s, so I'm always curious to see others.)

6:35 AM  
Blogger Clint Gardner said...

It is here

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will wait with bated breath on the new iteration of your show. And since it is ok to start sentences like this, I will.

Thank you for the reference for jumping the shark. Do we have the etimology on that?

But now we need to address people starting their first sentences with "Well" when they are speaking. That is one of my pet peaves.

Happy Holidays (from the frozen world of Wisconsin)

9:55 AM  
Blogger theorris said...

Jumping the shark is a phrase that derives from the Happy Days episode where Fonzie literally jumped a shark, anonymous. Some see it as the end of that show's effectiveness. Many would argue that the show lost its effectiveness after its first or second year.

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:51 AM  
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1:22 PM  
Anonymous Jeff in Santa Barbara said...


I hate to contradict your source, but I recently read _All Hallows Eve_ by Charles Williams. The book was published in 1945 (with a fwd from T.S. Eliot, no less!). In the novel I read ..."the husband, not so much." Predating Buffy by some fourty years. Just thought I'd let you know (although this post is so old, I don't know if you'll get this or not).

Love A.W.W.W.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Martha said...

Jeff, thanks for your comment -- and please, please, contradict away! Learning is what we're all about here, and if you have an earlier citation, that's great.

Would love to see that page from the book.

3:04 PM  

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