from "blood libel" to "pogrom"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 15 05:36:02 UTC 2011

On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 11:42 PM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at> asked, rhetorically:

> When America's young people say the latest musical bebop number
> or something is "killer!" do they mean it really kills?

Of course they do, Jon! The latest and greatest sounds and their
producers have been literally killing since the last century!  Surely,
this is not news to you! You must be aware that, e.g. any number of
well-known stand-up comedians have knocked their audiences dead,
literally *slaying* them, quite possibly since the days of vaudeville,
if not since those of the minstrel show! And they're happy, even
proud, to admit it: "I killed, last night! Laid them - i.e. the bodies
of the slain - in the aisles!" How often have we heard or read this or
a similar boast?

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

Once that we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity,
or evil intent, we can uncumber ourselves of the impossible burden of
trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition
that we could be in error, without necessarily deeming ourselves
idiotic or unworthy.
–Kathryn Schulz

The American Dialect Society -

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