Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sun Dec 16 15:54:45 UTC 2007

It should be expanded, perhaps, to include "esp. one who serves as an
advisor to a neophyte."

In the Trekverse, the Vulcans were the alien race that guided humanity in
the early years of deep-space exploration. This aspect of the definition was
in the fore at Bush White House where the neocons were dubbed the "Vulcans"
because of their role in advising the inexperienced president in foreign
policy matters.

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2007 8:17 PM
Subject: Re: vulcan

Maybe the definition should be expanded slightly to "an emotionless
intellectual or technician."  But that's OED's problem.

  And don't you love the way this "literary scholar" avoids "value-laden"
language like "deployment," "hacks," "without taste, ideas or talent of
their own," "privileged," and, of course, "vulcans."

  More typical than not in my experience.  But I digress.


Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: Re: vulcan

At 5:02 PM -0800 12/15/07, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>"An emotionless intellectual." Not in OED. Presumably a zillion Googlits.
> 2007 Wikipedia Discussion
>[]: I write as a
>literary scholar: This seems to be a very value-laden deployment of
>the word "sentiment"....This definition was obsolete fifty years
>ago. Western fiction has always been primarily affective and about
>exploration of emotions, and the notion that it hasn't was limited
>to a few New Critical hacks with lots of influence but without
>taste, ideas or talent of their own. To the chagrin of these
>privileged vulcans, emotion/sentiment are actuallys [sic] ways of
>knowing, usually more constant an [sic] reliable than linear reason.
> A Waki "way of knowing"?
> JL
I would think that it's often not so much 'intellectual' but rather
something like 'hyperlogical' and/or 'data-driven', since one of Mr.
Spock's most salient and persistent traits (other than being
pro-"logic" and anti-emotion) was coming up with all those precisely
(not to say absurdly) expressed odds and percentages. He wasn't
really particularly intellectual as I recall.


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