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Don't ask!

Posted by Lewis on May 08, 2007

In Reply to: Re: What have you done for me lately posted by ESC on May 05, 2007

: : : : I'm looking for the origin of the phrase "what have you done for me lately?" I'm pretty sure it wasn't Janet Jackson's song - but I can't find any info about it - only that it's used everywhere. Any help?

: : :
: : : This isn't much help, but Google News Archive shows several papers carrying the same article around Jan 19, 1954 containing:
: : : "Besides, My realistic and logical Friends, What have you done for us lately? take, for instance, India"
: : : and several other similar in the 50's and 60's.

: : I can't be much help either, but I think "what have you done for me lately" derives from "What has he ever done for me?"--also seen as "What have you ever done for me?" There's a literature that I cannot point to that juxtaposes the two, in a way--something like, "For these hard guys, it's not important what you've done for them. What count's is what you've done for them LATELY."
: : SS

: I thought Safire would have that phrase in his political dictionary, but he didn't.

"Ask not what your country has done for you - ask what you can do for your country..."

Kennedy, I believe.

part of the same train of thought?

L