Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Dec 6 14:59:17 UTC 2005

On 12/6/05, Michael Quinion <wordseditor at> wrote:
> Darla Wells wrote:
> > I saw a reference to the use of folklore to save people from the Asian
> > tsunami, but this is the first time I have seen the term geomythology.Is
> > that a new one?
> In "First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times", by
> Adrienne Mayor (2001), the author says: "The word 'geomythology' was
> coined in 1968 by Dorothy Vitaliano, a geologist interested in folklore,
> to describe etiological legends that explain -- in poetic metaphor and
> mythological imagery -- volcanoes, earthquakes, and landforms."

D. B. Vitaliano,"Geomythology," Journal of the Folklore Institute,
Vol. 5, No. 1 (June 1968), p. 11.

--Ben Zimmer

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