Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Today's OED antedating: "back to the drawing board"

Back to the drawing board, figurative, often jocular, resourceful and resilient reaction to (often severe) setback ("drawing," vbl. n., sec 6 (b), first use cited 1965): Letter from Nunnally Johnson to Robert Emmett Dolan dated December 17, 1957, collected in The Letters of Nunnally Johnson (1981), p 165: "The script was generally admired, so far as I can tell, but you know what they say, you can't fight city hall. Sooooo, back to the old drawing board."