Franken- meaning genetically modified
gbarrett at MONICKELS.COM
Mon Jan 8 10:54:04 UTC 2001
On lundi 8 janvier 2001 01:43, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at AOL.COM> wrote:
>For Word of the Decade, web received 45 votes, the prefix e- 10, way meaning
>yes (4), the prefix Franken meaning genetically modified as in Frankenfood
>(2), ethnic cleansing (0) and senior moment (0).
>First, "genetically modified" is an inadequate synonym if not an incorrect
>definition. The "Franken-" part means "potentially if not active harmful" or
>perhaps "frightening". It just happens that this particular citation was
>about genetically modified food.
>Second, I have found a 1967 citation for "Franken-". It is in a science
>fiction story "To Love Another" by James Blish and Norman L. Knight that was
>published in the April 1967 issue of Analog Science Fiction. A sideplot in
>the story concerns the raising of something called "slimes" (presumably
>fungi, but it is not made clear). One of these slimes has something go wrong
>with it and turns carnivorous. At the bottom of page 23 column 2 somebody
>says "we have a Frankenslio deal with."
As I'm sure others will point out, first, the Word of the Decade doesn't meant the
usage, word or phrase was *coined* during that decade (although I think we strive for
that), merely that it became popular.
Second, while I agree that "potentially if not actively harmful" could be a valid
definition of the prefix "franken", the "genetically modified" usage is also valid and
widespread. Anecdotally, and as far as I can tell, the "genetically modified" usage
is currently more widespread, if only because popular belief is that "genetically
modified" equals "potentially if not actively harmful."
gbarrett at monickels.com
More information about the Ads-l