Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Tue Nov 30 16:36:04 UTC 2010

On Nov 29, 2010, at 10:22 PM, David Bowie wrote:
> From:    Ronald Butters<ronbutters at AOL.COM>
>> I feel certain that CABLE has had the jargon meaning 'confidential
>> international communications between government agencies' for a very
>> long time....
> I can attest to 'cable' having that meaning in regular use among
> nonspecialists (it would come up in local news stories about spy cases,
> for example) while i was growing up in the DC area in the 70s and 80s,
> by which time the cablegram-specificness of it was already outdated.
> Given its longstanding use by nonspecialists, though, we may need some
> sort of intermediate label for something like this that lies somewhere
> between jargon and non-jargon.

i've been calling items that have partially leaked from specialist use into more general use "semi-technical terms".


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