Sea Change

Dorothy J. Cattle (cattledj@WFU.EDU)
Mon, 20 Nov 1995 07:38:31 -0500

it comes from Shakespeare - The Tempest - Full fathom five ... If one
looks it up in The Tempest, one'll understand the kind of
"transformation" it started out to mean -- probably not what Bill Gates
or Newt have in mind when they use it. A former Navy person hadn't a
clue about the phrase but thought it plausible to come out of a past
century's mariners observations/lore, etc. I do not believe it is a
"new" phrase in American usage although it may be undergoing a resurgence
now until overuse or misuse kills it back once again. Someone can look
it up in an Oxford English dictionary. We tracked the Tempest ref down
through an online Bartlett's Fam. Quotations. Not aware of the Oxford
English dictionary being online but it wouldn't surprise me.