faux acronym in the N.E.W.S. (or actually the Times)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Oct 9 23:52:41 UTC 2011

Today in the NYT Styles section, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/pageoneplus/corrections-october-9.html, this correction appeared:

Because of an editing error, an article on Sept. 25 about acronyms misstated the derivation of the word “swag,” in a reference to gifts given to celebrities at New York Fashion Week. The Oxford English Dictionary dates its first citation, as a term for a thief’s plunder, from 1794; it only recently has been interpreted as an acronym for “stuff we all get.”

The original article can be seen here--


--but since it's been corrected, I don't know what the exact wording was for the acronymic derivation of "swag".  In any case, I love the euphemism:  the acronymic derivation, postdating the first recorded cite by over 200 years, isn't necessarily wrong or fabricated, it just constitutes a recent interpretation.  

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

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