Yodel disease

Damien Hall halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Jul 31 20:56:50 UTC 2006

This morning I came across the term 'yodel disease' in a headline from the
Philadelphia *Metro*'s News in Brief section.  The article in question was,
fittingly, only one sentence long, so I can quote it in its entirety:



Immigration judges vary sharply in their willingness to grant asylum to
foreigners - with denial rates ranging from 10 percent to more than 98

Philadelphia *Metro*, 31 July 2006, p12


'Yodel disease' gets no Googlits.  ('Yodeling disease' gets five, all from the
same website, but, as far as I can work out, they are irrelevant (because they
refer to someone with an inordinate fondness for yodelling);  'yodelling
disease' gets one, but it is definitely irrelevant.)  Needless to say, the
term's not (yet?) in the *OED*, and I don't have my *MW* by me to check it.

I have never heard the term 'yodel disease' before;  from this article, I
presume that it means 'an aversion to alien things / modes of life as exhibited
by foreigners', the yodel being an extreme example of something that's just not
part of the average American's life.

Has anyone else heard the term, or is it yet another example of the *Metro*
sub-editors' wonderful art?  (Other headlines and captions on photos in the
past have really made me smile;  I think some of these people are destined for
great, creative things if they can get out of the sub-editors' office!)

Damien Hall
University of Pennsylvania

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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