Have you ever heard the phrase “Going great guns?”

I have.

And I haven’t.

A former staff member sent me an email indicating the first time he’d read the phrase “going great guns” was while reading my book; and the second time the phrase struck him was in the email I had just sent him.

I haven’t when I paused to wonder, semi-aloud, to myself: “What is the sunder is this person grousing about with this ‘great guns’ stuff?”

I checked the email I had just sent him and, sure enough, I had employed “going great guns” into service and when I checked the text of my book, I noticed “going great guns” there as well.

I’m blaming the “going great guns” idiom on my Midwestern parochial Nebraska upbringing where I also wrongly learned to colloquially append the word “at” to the end of every inquiry and inquisitive declaration.

It’s fascinating what words we wont even as we forget writing and speaking them.

I pre-shudder, and apologize in advance, for the day when I write or speak, “We’d be going great guns if only I could remember where we put the bullets at.”

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