I read the phrase "circular firing squad" in an article this morning. I'd never heard it before and neither had my husband.

How about you? Have you heard/read/used it before?

I like the phrase and can't wait for a conversation in which to say it. It's plain, and also rather humorous. Perfect.

Maria Conlon
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I read the phrase "circular firing squad" in an article this morning. I'd never heard it before and neither had ... the phrase and can't wait for a conversation in which to say it. It's plain, and also rather humorous. Perfect.

I hadn't heard of it, but it's an intriguing phrase. I think it should be enshrined alongside such things as "unauthorized autobiography".
Did someone write a book with the latter phrase in the title or on the cover?
I read the phrase "circular firing squad" in an article ... to say it. It's plain, and also rather humorous. Perfect.

I hadn't heard of it, but it's an intriguing phrase. I think it should be enshrined alongside such things as "unauthorized autobiography".

Isn't "circular firing squad" merely a PC-ized version of "Italian firing squad"?
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I read the phrase "circular firing squad" in an article this morning. I'd never heard it before and neither had ... and can't wait for a conversation in which to say it. It's plain, and also rather humorous. Perfect. Maria Conlon

Yeah, as a kid I used to hear the joke:
Did you hear about the (insert ethnic group) firing squad? They formed a circle.
Well it was funny when I was 10.
I read the phrase "circular firing squad" in an article ... which tosay it. It's plain, and also rather humorous. Perfect.

I hadn't heard of it, but it's an intriguing phrase. I think it should be enshrined alongside such things as "unauthorized autobiography". Did someone write a book with the latter phrase in the title or on the cover?

Not that I know of. The "circular firing squad" I saw was in a political newsletter I receive from US News & World Report. I can't remember who was being quoted. (I've already deleted the newsletter.)
From other responses, I gather it's originally from an old (insert ethnicity here) joke. (New to me, though I thought I'd heard them all.)
Maria Conlon
I read the phrase "circular firing squad" in an article this morning. I'd never heard it before and neither had ... and can't wait for a conversation in which to say it. It's plain, and also rather humorous. Perfect. Maria Conlon

I've heard it and seen cartoons depicting it too, usually it's used in a political setting where the desire to get somebody outweighs common sense.
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I hadn't heard of it, but it's an intriguing phrase. I think it should be enshrined alongside such things as "unauthorized autobiography". Did someone write a book with the latter phrase in the title or on the cover?

Amazon lists 16 books:
Lemony Snicket, Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography Chuck Barris, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: An Unauthorized Autobiography
Ray Davies, X-Ray: The Unauthorized Autobiography Deborah Werksman, What a Waste it is to Lose One's Mind: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Dan Quayle
Richard Jackson, Unauthorized Autobiography: New and Selected Poems
Tom Connor, Martha, Really, and Cruelly: The Completely Unauthorized Autobiography
Doug Bybee, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Jake the Inflatable Dog
S. Brian Erickson, The Unauthorized Autobiography: lectionary sermons on college, confusion, and other sacred disciplines Larry Rivers, Arnol Weinstein, What Did I Do? The Unauthorized Autobiography of Larry Rivers
Micah Pearson, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Micah Pearson Robert Bloch, Once Around the Bloch: An Unauthorized Autobiography
John Kirch, A Totally Free Man: An Unauthorized Autobiography of Fidel Castro
H. Barnett Jones, True Tales of a Wyoming Generation: The Unauthorized Autobiography of H. Barnett Jones
Brent Kroetch, Success is no Substitute for a Bungled Life: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Fredrick Brent, Ph.D. Nadeem Rahman, Poems of Expiation: An (Unauthorized) Autobiography
Irving Zupnick, Contexts: An Unauthorized Autobiography

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >To find the end of Middle English,
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >you discover the exact date andPalo Alto, CA 94304 >time the Great Vowel Shift took
Bob Cunningham:
... alongside such things as "unauthorized autobiography". Did someone write a book with the latter phrase in the title or on the cover?

Evan Kirshenbaum:
Amazon lists 16 books: Lemony Snicket, Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography Chuck Barris ...

The Library of Congress catalog returns 19 entries on a title keyword phrase search for "unauthorized autobiography", representing 16 works (3 appear in two editions each), of which 14 are books and 10 are in common with the Amazon list. The six not in the LOC catalog are the ones by Doug Bybee, S. Brian Erickson, H. Barnett Jones, Brent Kroetch, Micah Pearson, and Irving Zupnick.
The four in the LOC catalog and not in Amazon are: * Jan R. Groenewold: "David vs. Goliath: an unauthorized autobiography", 2000
* J. M. Kemp et al., "My hopscotch life: my own unauthorized autobiography", 2003
* Brian Shaughnessy, "Squeaky wheel: an unauthorized autobiography", 2004
* Jakob Torta, "A je kakec?", 1999
And the two non-books are sound recordings:
* Unwound (Musical group), "Repetition", 1996
* "Unauthorized autobiography of Howard Who?"
I note that two of the titles don't seem to have the phrase in them, but the catalog search found them anyway.
Oh, the LOC also has two hits on "unauthorised autobiography":

* Lancelot Hogben, edited by Adrian and Anne Hogben, , "Lancelot Hogben, scientific humanist: an unauthorised autobiography", 1998

* Colin Hogg, "Awful truth: an unauthorised autobiography", 1998

Mark Brader > "The race is not always to the swift, Toronto > nor the battle to the strong (Email Removed) > but that is the way to bet it." Damon Runyon

My text in this article is in the public domain.
I read the phrase "circular firing squad" in an article this morning. I'd never heard it before and neither had my husband. How about you? Have you heard/read/used it before?

No, but circle jerks were not unknown to college students back in the 60s, not that I ever participated in one. Much the same as your phrase suggests, when you think about it. Humorous, yes.
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