More on "moist"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 9 20:53:11 UTC 2009

Like the belief (oops! the "misnomer," of course) that there's a movie
called _M*A*S*H_.

The ads spelled it that way, but right on the screen it sez _MASH_.  What's
on screen is always the official title for cataloguing purposes and all
scholarly reference.

There was, however, a TV series called _M*A*S*H_, the only word in English
that requires asterisks in its standard orthography.


On Sun, Aug 9, 2009 at 2:00 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: More on "moist"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 8/9/2009 01:25 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> >Why no inkling?  I go with the the theory (borrowed from a post last year,
> >unless it was me, in which case I take full credit) that the ickiness of
> >"moist" is metalinguistic folklore. Once having gained a toehold
> >in circulation, it has led to that magical combination of acclaim ("Wow! I
> >never thought of that!"),  inadvertent "endorsement" ("I don't believe it,
> >but I'll ask X !  He/she will know!/ be amused!/ pass it on!"), and
> virality
> >("People are saying it online! It's gotta be important/true!") that leads
> to
> >language change, all while bringing the Apocalypse just that much nearer.
> As Robert Hume wrote, "Once a factual error is on the Internet, it is
> virtually ineradicable, for it will be picked up and repeated."
> (Well, he didn't really write "on the Internet", but mutatis mutandis ...)
> Joel
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