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See The Dog Jump In A Circle; Leave Her House To Entertain Educated Veterans' Homes. A mnemonic to remember the various cabinet-level departments in the federal government, proposed on the New York Times editorial page in 1988 and later revised.reference 1

The dog is, of course, more an artifact than a crucial character here. However, the imperative clause, see the dog jump in a circle, would seem to be more than incidentally apt for describing the activities of these executive departments. In order of appearance, these are the departments: 1789: State, Treasury, Defense, 1870: Justice (formerly just Attorney General), 1849: Interior, 1862: Agriculture, 1913: Commerce, Labor, 1953: Health and Human Services (formerly Health, Education and Welfare), 1965: Housing and Urban Development, 1966: Transportation, 1977: Energy, 1979: Education, 1988: Veterans Affairs, 2003: Homeland Security.

1. Rosenthal, Jack. 2004. Letteracy. New York Times Magazine, Aug 29, p. 20.

About the illustration: This dog finds itself wound tightly around the pole to which it is tethered. As it tries to jump, it keeps circling the pole and is drawn ever closer. From Wild Animal Ways © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation. 2. Seton, Ernest Thompson. 1916. Wild Animal Ways. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin company.
see also: chase one's tail Last updated: July 28, 2008
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