Posted by RRC on October 11, 2007
In Reply to: Points for trying posted by Smokey Stover on October 10, 2007
: : : Can anybody tell me the origin of the term "points for trying" it's a common term used everyday but I can't find the actual origin. Any help would be greatly appreciated (to settle a friendly argument on the origin of the phrase).
: : In school, even if you don't actually get the right answer to the question set by the teacher, you can still get points for trying - that is, you are given credit for putting in effort and for using appropriate strategies to try to solve the problem. (VSD)
: Did that work for you, Victoria? Never did for me. But you're right about the points for trying. It's based on the idea that you are graded on a point system, and even if you never went to a school where you could get points for trying, these are still the kind of points meant by the expression. In most U.S. schools the points eventually get converted into letter grades, 75 = C, 95 = A, 100 = You cheated. Consequently, you may also hear the expression, "You get an A for effort." In a real school I don't think so.
In my book, you get an E for Effort. What would be the point of getting it right?
I believe there was an agency in WWII that awarded "E for Effort"s to factories, etc. for their performance, meeting quotas, etc.