avuncular (formerly 1823)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Jul 20 14:51:34 UTC 2009

Thanks, Joel!

(But no thanks for using HTML instead of plain text.)

--Ben Zimmer

On Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 10:47 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> 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: avuncular (formerly 1823)
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> <font size=3>Once again an early 1800s antedating leads me to EAN. 
> It appears the _Monthly Review_ was not the earliest go-to
> place.<br><br>
> Daily National Intelligencer; <b>Date: </b>07-23-1816; <b>Volume: </b>IV;
> <b>Issue: </b>1104; <b>Page: </b>[3/]; <b>Location: </b>Washington (DC),
> District of Columbia.  <br><br>
> "Perhaps most of our readers are not aware of the fact that Congress
> passed a resolution, requiring the Executive to lay before the Congress,
> at the next session, and at certain stated periods thereafter, a List of
> all Officers of the Government, their names, salaries, and <i>places of
> nativity</i>.  With whom this idea originated, we do not exactly
> know; but it would certainly have been more complete, if the ages of
> these public officers had been required, their situation in life, whether
> of married or single blessedness; the names of their parental and
> avuncular kindred; the names and number of their children, if any they
> have."<br><br>
> [This article must be a squib cast at the Nativist movement.  Being
> from 1816, it is I think early in its history, particularly in the
> political arena.  The Know Nothing party arose in the 1840s, and
> both Ray Allen Billington and Ira M. Leonard / Robert D. Parmet see the
> beginnings of nativist societies in the 1820s.]<br><br>
> Joel<br><br>
> At 7/20/2009 12:46 AM, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:<br>
> <blockquote type=cite class=cite cite="">My latest Word Routes column is
> on two words closely tied to Walter<br>
> Cronkite, "avuncular" and "anchorman":<br><br>
> <a href="http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/1920/" eudora="autourl">
> http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/1920/</a><br><br>
> The "anchorman" part is a followup to my Slate piece from over
> the<br>
> weekend. As for "avuncular", I mention this early cite,
> antedating<br>
> OED's 1831:<br><br>
> 1823 James Smith in _Monthly Rev._ V(25):38 'I take,' continued Mr.<br>
> Robert Robertson, 'an avuncular interest in all that concerns
> you.'<br><br>
> So is it just a coincidence that "avuncular" appears in the
> January<br>
> 1823 _Monthly Review_ and "materteral" shows up in the
> September 1823<br>
> issue (from a different author)? Was the _Monthly Review_ the go-to<br>
> journal for whimsical kinship-based neo-Latinisms?<br><br>
> <br>
> --Ben Zimmer<br><br>
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