Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Oct 24 19:29:26 UTC 2008

On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 10:49 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
> At 10:38 AM -0400 10/24/08, Marc Velasco wrote:
> >archive search shows no hits, so I think this is new here.
> >
> >heard today on Diane Rehm show, _blamecasting_
> >google hits for blamecast, blamecasting: ~ 363.
> >
> >broadcast + blame ?
> >
> >apparently spread blame far and wide, kind of like it sounds.  or maybe just
> >an intensification of blame?
> I'd think it could incorporate either sense of "broadcast"--the
> original, as you suggest, involving wide dispersion by any means, or
> more likely the now primary sense involving electronic media
> transmission (excluding newspapers or word of mouth, but probably
> including cablecasting on FOX, MSNBC, CNN, et al., as well as talk
> radio).

No need to invoke "broadcasting" (unless such transmission was
implied). "Blame-casting" could be understood as a run-of-the-mill
verbal noun derived from "casting blame" -- along the lines of
"spell-casting" or "type-casting".

Google Book Search shows "blame-casting" in psychological texts back
to the 1960s, and even turns up a 19th century example as an open

1889 Sabine Baring-Gould _The Pennycomequicks_ 400 Yet, with her
natural modesty and shrinking from blame casting, she reproached
herself for grudging to her friend that friendship which she had
herself invited Philip to bestow.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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