Opposition leader Tony Abbott copped some flak when he referred to a soldier’s death in Afghanistan using a certain well-known philosophical homily: “Shit happens.”

How did this phrase enter the lexicon, and what impact has it had?

It’s all happening with UWA linguist Daniel Midgley on this week’s Talk the Talk.

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Show notes

Video of the Abbott Incident, as well as 20 riveting silent seconds.

Use Google Ngram viewer to find the first instance of “shit happens” in print:

Interested in more about Natural Semantic Metalanguage?