More on "soft-core pornography" antedating (1961)

Gareth Branwyn garethbranwyn at COMCAST.NET
Wed Dec 2 01:15:28 UTC 2009

This really good stuff, folks, Thanks!

I got the email address of Krassner from my editor, so I'm going to
ask him for '58 cites. I can't imagine he would allegedly coin a term
in 1958 and not commit it to print until 1964.


On Dec 1, 2009, at 7:35 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      More on "soft-core pornography" antedating (1961)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Gareth Branwyn posted a query to the list that included this
> statement: "I am currently editing an article by Paul Krassner (of
> "The Realist" fame) in which he claims to have coined the terms "soft
> core porn" (1958)
> "
> OED 2nd has a 1966 cite. The online archive of The Realist has a May
> 1964 cite.
> Google Books archive has a 1961 cite of "soft core pornography" in the
> journal Religious Education. The citation is only accessible in
> snippet view. Based on extracted text I think the phrase occurs in a
> review of the book "An Outline of Human Relations" by Eustace Chesser.
> But I cannot determine the identity of the book reviewer. This
> citation does not antedate the claimed 1958 coinage.
> Citation: Religious Education, page 75, Vol. 56, Religious Education
> Association, 1961.
> The second part on marriage and sex deviations seems to this writer to
> be sophisticated pornography. Granted that it is an area of previous
> writing by Chesser, the extended discussion of sex deviations in a
> volume which guides mothers in their emotional roles with children as
> the opener and which closes with a collection of homilies, seems to be
> "hard-core" (as distinguished from non-substantial, or soft-core)
> pornography.
> core#search_anchor
> I do not have a paper copy of the journal to confirm this information
> and Google Books metadata is sometimes inaccurate. The table of
> contents of the online journal says that page number 75 is located in
> the Book Review section of the January 1961 issue.
> One of the book reviewers on page 75 is William A. Christian who is
> identified as an Associate Professor of Religion at Yale University.
> An obituary of William A. Christian Sr. says he was appointed to the
> Yale faculty as an associate professor in 1951 and became a full
> professor in 1962. This provides some evidence that the citation
> really is from 1961.
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