Franenfood: More

Mike Salovesh t20mxs1 at CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU
Tue Jul 13 05:24:29 UTC 1999

Grant Barrett cites two early print sources for "Frankenfood":

> REINVENTING THE MEAL. (THE MENU)   By Nancy Ross Ryan  03/11/1992   Restaurants & Institutions   Page 14    > Copyright Reed Publishing USA 1992
> It's almost as is a Dr. Frankenfood has created a customer creature with superhuman demands: To eat         > appetizers for dinner, entrees for appetizers, ethnic foods for breakfast and breakfast any time of day.
> (more snipped here)

and a letter to the New York Times:

> I'm not saying this proves anything or nothin', but the New York Times has this letter
> to the editor for 16 June 1992:
> To the Editor:
> "Tomatoes May Be Dangerous to Your Health" (Op-Ed, June 1) by Sheldon Krimsky is right
> to question the decision of the Food and Drug Administration to exempt genetically
> engineered crops from case-by-case review. Ever since Mary Shelley's baron rolled his
> improved human  out of the lab, scientists have been bringing just such good things to
> life. If they want to sell us Frankenfood, perhaps it's time to gather the  villagers,
> light some torches and head to the castle.
> Newton Center, Mass., June 2, 1992

Barry, on his return, probably will find earlier cites, but for the
moment let's accept the two citations quoted here as the earliest
candidates for priority in print.

I think the one with the earlier date probably deserves to be ignored
when it comes to awarding the palm.  Nancy Ross Ryan applies her term to
the producer of mixed-up menus, not to any item of food itself. Ms.
Ryan's word is, at best, a homophone for the term this thread has been

Paul Lewis not only uses "frankenfood" in the full contemporary meaning,
he does so with a grace of style and an inventive relevance that
deserves some award in its own right.

Which leads me to a question ADS-L citations of possible antedates
frequently raise as I read them.  Sometimes the evidence seems to follow
two scenarios:

1.  An early citation, or series of citations, uses a word in a sense
that became extinct; i.e., there is no continuing line of usage leading
either to today's meaning of the word or to a known shift in meaning
that is the basis of today's meaning.

2.  A later citation establishes a sequential tradition for using the
word in the sense we would use to define it today.

I turn to the list as a council of mavens because I can always benefit
from any maven's counsel. Are there some rules beyond personal taste for
settling the question of priority when attested citations of a word
clearly use it in contrasting meanings?

--  mike salovesh             <salovesh at>        PEACE !!!

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