"infamous" = celebrated

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Mar 14 21:44:18 UTC 2006

I don't see either the research or the prize described in the article as fitting in any way  the customary senses of "infamous."

   As the OED has it, "1. Of ill fame or repute; famed or notorious for badness of any kind; notoriously evil, wicked, or vile; held in infamy or public disgrace....

  "2. Deserving of infamy; of shameful badness, vileness, or abominableness; of a character or quality deserving utter reprobation. (One of the strongest adjectives of detestation.)"

  Horror Thought of the Day:  What do today's teens think FDR means when they hear him speak of "a day that will live in infamy" ?

  Like, it's gonna be really famous ?


"Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Joel S. Berson"
Subject: Re: "infamous" = celebrated

There is "the famous infamous Tom Bell".

Perhaps the intended notion of the reference to the Ig Nobels was
"infamous science" (a prize for)?


At 3/14/2006 09:31 AM, you wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender: American Dialect Society
>Poster: Jonathan Lighter
>Subject: Re: "infamous" = celebrated
>How, ye of little faith, explain ye this ?:
> "To mark National Science Week, past winners of the most infamous
> prize in academia are touring the country to explain, among other
> things, the logic of making locusts watch repeated highlights of
> Star Wars and how ostriches fancy humans."
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4801670.stm (Today's BBC News.)
> No, not the bugs and birds; I mean how do you explain "infamous"
> if not as a synonym for the now soooooo-boring "famous" ? (Earlier
> discussion addressed the possibility that this "infamous" might
> only apply to celebrities or media things.)
> The transformation appears to be complete. Let the Kaos begin !
> JL
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