infectious = 'imparting excitement, enjoyment, etc.'

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Aug 27 23:56:48 UTC 2010

At 8/27/2010 05:58 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>Not much like def. 5 because "laughter" or "yawning," etc., can
>be "catching" in a way resembling an infectious disease.

So can drinking on the street.  Or the music of marching
funerals.  And the most recent quotation from the OED names
"infectious good humour and urbanity".  (I haven't come down with
"urbanity", and I've lived in big cites all my life.  Perhaps I
developed immunity from exposure as a child.)

>It isn't the "city" that's "infectious" in the newer, albeit
>derivative, sense. It's the atmosphere of fun, excitement, whatever, that
>the city imparts.

What I meant.


The American Dialect Society -

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