A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 31, 2009
TANJ (There Ain’t No Justice)

"There ain’t no justice” is a phrase that dates to at least the 1850s. “There Ain’t No Justice” was the title of several “Moon Mullins” newspaper comic strips in 1924, the title of a book in 1937, and the title of a movie in 1939.

“TANJ (There Ain’t No Justice)” is from Larry Niven’s science fiction novel, Ringworld (1970). “TANJ” has expanded beyond science fiction and has entered common speech, especially for computer users.


Urban Dictionary
TANJ
Expletive.
Acronym for “There Ain’t No Justice.” Used like “damn”
Also: tangit, tanjing, and other variations.
Accredited to Larry Niven.
TANJ! I left the oven on!
by Depherios Nov 15, 2003

Wikipedia: Profanity in science fiction
In his advice to other SF writers, Orson Scott Card states that there are no hard and fast rules for the use of profanity in SF stories, despite what may have been expected of writers in the past. The onus is squarely on the writer to determine how much profanity to use, to enquire as to each magazine publisher’s individual limits, and to think about the effect that the use of profanity will have on the reader, both in terms of how the reader will perceive the characters and in terms of how the reader will be offended by the story as a whole.

Card urges those writers who do decide to omit profanity from their stories to omit it completely. He regards the coinage of “tanj” ("There Ain’t No Justice") by Larry Niven as a “noble experiment” that “proved that euphemisms are often worse than the crudities that they replace”, because they make the story look silly. In Card’s opinion, such nonce words simply don’t work.

Wikipedia: Larry Niven
Laurence van Cott Niven (born April 30, 1938 Los Angeles, California) is a US science fiction author. Perhaps his best-known work is Ringworld (1970), which received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. It also often includes elements of detective fiction and adventure stories. His fantasy includes The Magic Goes Away series, rational fantasy dealing with magic as a non-renewable resource. Niven also writes humorous stories; one series is collected in The Flight of the Horse.

Google Books
Fresh Leaves
By Fanny Fern
New York, NY: Mason Brothers
1857
Pg. 133:
Sometimes I think there ain’t no justice up above there, when I see the innocent punished that way with the guilty.

13 May 1924, Seattle (WA) Daily Times, “Moon Mullins” comic strip by Willard, pg. 21:
There Ain’t No Justice

18 October 1924, Seattle (WA) Daily Times, “Moon Mullins” comic strip by Willard, pg. 8:
There Ain’t No Justice

OCLC WorldCat record
There ain’t no justice, by James Curtis.
Author: James Curtis
Publisher: New York, A. Knopf, 1937.
Edition/Format: Book : English

Internet Movie Database
There Ain’t No Justice (1939)
(...)
Plot: A young boxer falls in with a crooked fight promoter

OCLC WorldCat record
There ain’t no justice : some matters are too personal for an ex-convict to discuss with the warden
Author: Chester B Himes
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: Esquire, Vol.23, no.4 (April, 1945)

Google Books
Ringworld
By Larry Niven
New York, NY: Ballentine Books
1970 (1985 reprint)
“Tanj!” The curse seemed more than usually appropriate. There Ain’t No Justice!

Google Books
The Ringworld Engineers
By Larry Niven
New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston
1980
Pg. 354:
TANJ: Slang acronym formed from “There Ain’t No Justice.” Used as an expletive.

Google Books
FutureSpeak:
A fan’s guide to the language of science fiction

By Roberta Rogow
New York, NY: Paragon House
1991
Pg. 342:
TANJ (literary): “There Ain’t No Justice!” An acronym invented by Larry Niven and used extensively in his Ringworld novels as an all-purpose expletive.

Google Books
Jargon:
An informal dictionary of computer terms

By Robin Williams and Steve Cummings
Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press
1993
Pg. 57:
tanj there ain’t no justice

29 June 1995, The Independent (London), “The Idiot’s Guide to Cyberspace” by David Bowne:
...TANJ (There Ain’t No Justice)...

30 June 1997, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “FYI, help in brushing up on cyberspeak ASAP,” Tarrant Business, pg. 25:
TANJ - There Ain’t No Justice

Casper (WY) Star-Tribune
Justice wanes without due diligence
Posted: Saturday, August 16, 2008 12:00 am
Editor:
There Ain’t No Justice (TANJ).
(...)
Sixty years ago a smart man said to me, “There ain’t no justice” (TANJ). He learned that from the crash of 1929, the Depression, and World War II. And now the 463 Sylvan Pass snowmobilers, Cody businesses, and Western Medical reminds us that TANJ shines on year after year after year.
AUDREY HILLHOUSE, Casper

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Saturday, October 31, 2009 • Permalink