New way to misinterpret OED; "democide"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Apr 9 23:00:51 UTC 2008

1999 Allen D. Grimshaw, in _ Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace & Conflict_  (San Diego: Academic Press) II 54:  Perhaps in part because of the mind-boggling enormity of the facts of genocide and other democide, there has been much less research on them than on other varieties of violence that have taken fewer lives. The Oxford English Dictionary gives 180 inches to war, 80 to murder (plus another ten to homicide), and two and a half to genocide and genocidal (the terms democide and politicide have yet to make their way into standard references).

  Dr. Grimshaw - Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Indiana University - does provide other numerical indicators, such as the number of relevant titles in "an international catalog." But by itself, the number of column-inches devoted to an entry in the OED bears no relation to the number of professional-level studies done on the referent.

  So even prominent academics sometimes read too much into the OED.

  "Politicide" is in the latest online OED from 1968; "democide" was coined by Dr. R.J. Rummel in 1990 as a more inclusive term than "genocide" for state-sponsored murder.  (Rummel concludes that democide took over a quarter of a billion lives in the 20th Century - far more than the world total of military deaths in the same period.)


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