Get with the Program!

Posted by ESC on October 11, 2003

In Reply to: Get with the Program! posted by Brian from Shawnee on October 10, 2003

: I first heard this expression in 1982. I believe it was used by members of addiction recovery groups to encourage new members to stick to the recovery plan.

I don't know which came first the use of "program" for recovery/support groups or the following.

PROGRAM - "Promoting something for one's personal benefit." The Mainstream 1960s. From "Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang" by Tom Dalzell (Merriam-Webster Inc., Springfield, Md., 1996)

"1) A verbal strategy, a scheme or plan of verbal action for handling any situation. 'Girlfriend working her program.' Similar to 'game,' in the sense of a story or 'rap' used to obtain a desired end. However, runnin a program can be positive or negative, whereas runnin a game is deceptive and manipulative. 2) The established routine or pattern of something - an organization, an event, an activity, etc. 'Yo, git wit the program, baby!' (said to a member of an aerobics class who has slowed down during an exercise session). 3) The way you operate, your life style, your way of doing things. 'Any dude that ain wit my program can go right back where he came from cause I'm not havin it.'" From Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner by Geneva Smitherman (Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, N.Y., 1994)