"Rubber Room"

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Wed Mar 1 16:21:20 UTC 2006

Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>the development is pretty clearly from the psychiatric-care sense (a
>rubber room is one so designed that potentially violent psychiatric
>patients confined in it  cannot harm themselves) to the sense of a
>room that *makes* you crazy, specifically because there's nothing for
>you to do in it.  so the psychiatric connection is preserved, but

Arnold, that's not my interpretation--if I saw something like one's
office being referred to as a "rubber room", my assumption would
be not that it _makes_ you crazy, but that it _reflects_ your
craziness: I am crazy, therefore I work in a rubber room.

Jesse Sheidlower

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

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