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Meanwhile, on another part of the island...

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:22 pm
by Jeanette Crossland
Anyone know where this overused phrase was first coined? Everyone I ask has a different guess! I'd appreciate a certain answer as this has been driving me crazy for some time now.

Meanwhile, on another part of the island...

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:42 pm
by kagriffy
I doubt you'll find a definitive answer to the "certain" origin of this phrase, Jeanette, because I suspect it has been used in a number of bad novels over the years. I have never actually heard the version you mention; I've always heard, "Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . . ." That version has always sounded to me like some cliche from an old Western novel. Hopefully, Ken or one of the other Wizzes can give you more complete info.

Meanwhile, on another part of the island...

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:11 pm
by Ken Greenwald
Jeanette, I agree with Allen that I have never heard this used as a generalized expression. ‘Meanwhile back at the ranch . . .’ is also the similarly-meaning expression that I am familiar with. Doing a Google search, I got 51,000 hits on ‘Meanwhile back at the ranch . . .’ and 24 hits for ‘Meanwhile, on another part of the island . . .,’ which makes me wonder how overused it actually is. One possibility, if you are hearing it a lot, is that it is an up-and-coming expression in your part of the world.

Meanwhile, on another part of the island...

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:12 pm
by Phil White
To add perhaps a different guess, let me suggest Shakespeare's "The Tempest". The stage direction "Another part of the island" (without the "Meanwhile, on") occurs 4 times. And no, you'll have to read it yourself to find out where! ;-)

Meanwhile, on another part of the island...

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:48 pm
by butterfingersbeck
I wonder whether the Bard of Avon ever wrote "Back at the ranch" as a stage direction...

Meanwhile, on another part of the island...

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:53 pm
by Phil White
Simon, may I suggest Anne Pasternak Slater's Oxford 1974 D.Phil. "Shakespeare's Stage Directions". I'm certain it would sate your curiosity (by sucking the life-force from you) and perhaps even achieve a nomination for the dullest piece of research ever funded.

Meanwhile, on another part of the island...

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:03 pm
by Erik_Kowal
In that case it is perhaps too much to hope for that Shakespeare ever introduced a scene with "Meanwhile, back at the dude ranch..."

Meanwhile, on another part of the island...

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 7:32 pm
by kagriffy
Perhaps the "another part of the island" expression has recently sprung up on one of the many websites devoted to analyzing the convoluted plot twists on ABC's "Lost"! Now that my daughter has me completely hooked on that TV show, I can easily understand how such an expression would become over-used quickly: "Jack was trapped in a cave-in. Meanwhile, on another part of the island, Sayid was conked on the head by an unknown assailant." (Believe me, if you're not already hooked, you don't want to know! *G*)

Meanwhile, on another part of the island...

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 11:41 pm
by Edwin Ashworth
John Ford may possibly have considered the phrase as part of his Stagecoach direction.