Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 10 00:53:27 UTC 2010

At 6:35 PM -0500 11/9/10, George Thompson wrote:
>Prof. Bob Fowkes, once chair of the NYU German Dept., used to offer
>this etymology of "emeritus": "ex" = "you're out"; "meritus" = and
>you deserve to be out.

Can this be verified?  If so, I suspect multiple independent
discoveries of this etymology; I've heard variants of this academic
joke for decades.


>Most men, when boys, take a baseball player or movie star for a role
>model; Bob took the Indo-Europeans as his role model, because they
>had thought up so many neat languages, and before he died he had
>learned most of them.
>George A. Thompson
>Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre",
>Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
>Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 3:23 pm
>Subject: emerita
>>  See anything funny inthis blurb from the webstite of an academic journal
>>  http://journal.oraltradition.org/authors/show/377 ?:
>>  "William Merritt Sale, Professor Emerita of Classics and
>>  ComparativeLiterature at Washington University, has published
>>  extensively on Homer,
>>  South Slavic, and Romance epic as well as other classical areas."
>>  JL
>>  --
>>  "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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