Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Jan 29 19:22:43 UTC 2011

I agree with David, and would strike the first part of Jon's proposed
definition, modifying the second part to

"free of (extrinsic?) motivation or intention, often unconscious or
(esp.) unacknowledged."

Here I don't offhand see an innocent substitute, whereas "question"
can presumably be used instead of "interrogate".  ("Interrogate"
probably is often not innocent.)


At 1/29/2011 11:17 AM, David A. Daniel wrote:
> >I'd add this sense as OED 3.c. I've been hearing and reading it for at
> >a dozen years.
> >2000 John H. Arnold _History_ (N.Y.:Sterling, 2009) 100: For [historical
> >documents] are not innocent; their voices talk to certain ends, intend
> >certain consequences. They are not mirrors of past reality, but events in
> >themselves.
> >The meaning is "open to simple, straightforward interpretation; free of
> >unconscious or unacknowledged motive or intention."
>I don't think that is the meaning. I think the meaning is that [historical
>documents] are (or can be) tools of an agenda, as if they are a messenger
>who has been trained to relay propaganda and make it sound like fact.
>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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