still more on -er

Alison Murie sagehen7470 at ATT.NET
Mon Nov 23 15:34:34 UTC 2009

On Nov 22, 2009, at 10:32 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: still more on -er
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 9:39 PM -0500 11/22/09, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
>> In a message dated 11/22/09 8:14:11 PM, laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
>> writes:
>>> "Christer" is interesting, since of course it does correspond to the
>>> generalization, as do "Quaker", "Shaker", and "Holy Roller, all of
>>> which at least originated as pejoratives.
>> CHRIST is a noun, the others are verbs. NEW DEAL and (arguably)
>> AARP and
>> ACLU are ideological positions.
>> But these three counterexamples aside
> They're not counterexamples to the claim that the process in question
> applies to ideological (political and/or religious) movements (or
> creeds), and I'm not sure your nomination of Hell's Angels or biking
> really fit, without procrustean stretching.
> New Dealer does, and it would be interesting to see if the first uses
> there were negatively intended (applied by anti-FDR forces, as
> opposed to Democrats, unionists, or whoever proudly announcing "I'm a
> New Dealer").  I don't characterize AARP as an ideology.  ACLU might
> be; if it were salient enough and the phonology worked a bit better,
> I can imagine Fox newscasters referring to certain politicians as
> "ACLUers".  In fact there are references to "card-carrying ACLUers"
> on the web; they seem either pejoratives or (far more rarely)
> instances of reclamation.  So more grist for the mill, rather than
> any sort of counterexample.
> LH
I clearly remember Geo.H.W. Bush's using a sneering reference to "card-
carrying" ACLU members (in the1992 campaign), but can't remember if he
actually used "ACLUers,"  but it seems likely.

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