"baby mama" does not mean what they thought it means

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 29 02:38:17 UTC 2008

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 9:58 PM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Furthermore, isn't every mama a "baby mama" by the literal definition the editors originally used?
>   Especially mamas who are themselves babies.

Two usages of interest from the story:

"It's not showing far and away that if women eat a certain diet
they'll have a boy or a girl, but it certainly is giving us some
information," Jain said. "Could there be dietary factors that
influence conception?"
-- That's "far and away" meaning something like 'clearly' or
'conclusively' instead of 'by a great deal'. A fairly clear step, via
misunderstanding of its usual use in constructions like "far and away
the best of the lot".

"It adds to the manipulative tool box whose purpose is designer
babies," said Cameron, adding: "We need a lot more social debate about
the fact that children should be received as-is."
-- Our old friend (not!) "fact" as 'proposition, idea'.

Mark Mandel

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list