In a column of the Los Angeles Times published on March 15, 1951, the writer Marvin Miles noted how a peculiar formulation spread throughout his circle of friends and throughout the social scene. When he stood in an elevator, he heard the man next to him and complained about "lost brownie points". Later, a friend of Miles, who had been out too late, said that he would never "catch up" his brownie points.  Miles was at a loss. "Which esoteric cult was the one that immersed men in elf mathematics?" He wrote. His colleagues said that this was a way to "score" with their spouses and to take into account the benevolence they had accumulated with the "little woman" became synonymous with favoring currencies, often with authority figures such as teachers or employers. Where does the term come from and what happens when it is "earned"?
The most pervasive explanation is that the phrase comes from the Brownies, a group of Girl Scouts who were encouraged to do good deeds in their communities. The brownies were often too young to be official Girl Scouts and were sometimes siblings of older members. Originally called Rosebuds in the UK, they were renamed brownies in 1
But the brownies are not the only potential source. In the 1930s, children who had registered for the delivery of magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Ladies & # 39; Home Journal by Curtis Publishing were entitled to coupons with the To obtain the label greenies and . Brownies who could redeem them for merchandise. They were not explicitly called brownie points, but it's not hard to imagine children applying a points system to the brownies they deserve.
The term could also have been the result of rationing in the 1940s, when red and brown rationing points were possible for meat to be redeemed.
The sentence did not seem to take off until after the publication of Miles' column. In this regard, the married men who spoke with Miles felt that husbands remembering birthdays and anniversaries were picking up the dry-cleaning, sending letters, and not spending long nights in pubs talking to newspaper columnists, Brownie Could collect points. The goal, these husbands declared, was never to get ahead; they just wanted to be considered something in the eyes of their wives.
Later, possibly because of their use in print, elementary students understood the term "unnecessary devotion to teachers" in order to win them over. At a family and faculty meeting in Leon High, Tallahassee, Florida, in 1956, collecting brownie points was a serious problem. Also referred to as Apple Polishing it caused other students in the class to shame their peers for being kind to teachers. As a result, some were reluctant to be "bourgeois" for fear that they would be molested for sucking.
In the decades since that time, the phrase has become an act of goodwill, especially if it is of someone who is able to reward the act with good marks or promotion , As for Miles, the columnist said his understanding of Brownie points had come after a long night of investigation. He came home late, he said, making him "pointless."
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