Origins of "soft core," "Yippies," "Twinkie defense"

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Mon Nov 30 17:16:37 UTC 2009

On Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 08:31:30AM -0800, Grant Barrett wrote:
> After a cursory trawl through the databases, I can't prove
> or disprove any of his claims. Does he have published
> evidence to support them?
> For what they're worth, here are my rules for dealing with people who claim coinages.


In general I agree with Grant's comments here; most of the
people who claim to have coined things are wrong in any of
various ways (out-and-out wrong; perhaps independently coined
something that was already around; "coined" something not
really worthy of being called a "coinage"; etc.).

But--and without making any comment about the particular items
being discussed here--I do think there's a difference between
the random claims of some guy in the street, and a specific
claim made by someone with a reasonable chance to have been a
part of, or influenced, some sphere of activity.

So if someone who is a leading member of the counterculture,
who edited a prominent journal, makes a specific claim about
terms relating to that area--well, he could very well still be
wrong, but I probably wouldn't immediately burst out laughing,
the way I generally would when exposed to similar claims from
random correspondents.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

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