Fw: [ADS-L] yoda as a generic

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Wed May 5 07:17:21 UTC 2010


As have a gazillion other proper nouns. This makes them proper nouns used figuratively by a commonlplace linguistic process. .
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-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Barr <rickbarremail at GMAIL.COM>
Date:         Tue, 4 May 2010 23:55:45
To: <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject:      Re: [ADS-L] Fw: [ADS-L] yoda as a generic

As far as I can tell, it hasn't been mentioned in this thread, but Ben
Zimmer published an article a couple of months ago on the eponym Kanye:
http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/2199/

Significantly for this discussion, *Kanye* jumped directly into use as a
verb, while retaining the capital K.

-- Rick



On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 8:58 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Fw: [ADS-L] yoda as a generic
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> At 9:17 PM +0000 5/4/10, ronbutters at aol.com wrote:
> >The legal sense of "generic" says that the true
> >origin must be forgotten for a term to be a true
> >generic. That is why Kleenex and Xerox are not
> >true generics; I would call them pseudogenerics,
> >and at best Yoda fits into that category, and
> >then only in the limited use that any famous
> >name is used. Indeed, the examples that have
> >veen proposed would be rather pointless if
> >people did NOT make a strong commextion with the
> >movie character. Even "quisling" is I expect
> >known by the relatively few people who would
> >ever use it as related to a historical figure.
> >Why not just say "traitor"...
>
> Not all traitors are quislings.  For me, at
> least, a quisling is necessarily a collaborator
> who is positioned within one's own government or
> military service who helps an outside force gain
> or hold power against the true interests (as
> defined by the user of the pejorative term) of
> one's own country.  Thus Tokyo Rose was not a
> quisling, although she was a traitor, but P├ętain
> was arguably a quisling.  Knowing who Vidkun
> Quisling was is not a precondition for using the
> term with this meaning, and I'm not sure there's
> an obvious non-eponymous substitute;
> "collaborator" comes closer than "traitor", but
> extends to restaurant owners and linguistics
> professors who don't qualify (for me, at least)
> as quislings.
>
> LH
>
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