Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 3 14:45:50 UTC 2011

Jonathan Lighter wrote
> "Postulate" would work, or "suppose,"  but surely two art historians with
> advanced degrees, at least one of whom holds an endowed chair and has taught
> at Yale, wouldn't make a silly mistake like that!
> Note, though, that "interpolate" has four syllables, making it one-third
> more impressive than "postulate" and a whopping twice as impressive as
> "suppose."

I think that the term "interpolate" has been given a specialized
meaning in some academic sub-areas, e.g., gender studies and queer
studies. Here are two examples from Google Books:

Heroic desire: lesbian identity and cultural space - Page 19
Sally Munt - 1998 - 184 pages - Preview
But these kinds of novel establish a particularly close relationship
between the text and the reader, depending on what Suleiman has
identified as an illocutionary speech act, so that they demonstrate
and interpolate the reader into their purpose, rather like the way
rhetoric can function.

En travesti: women, gender subversion, opera - Page 294
Corinne E. Blackmer, Patricia Juliana Smith - 1995 - 381 pages - Preview
In her memoirs, where she tells the story of Fantasio's eventual
premier in May 1898, she interpolates lesbian desire as an anonymous
intrusion, an encoded and illusory impersonation of the "real."

It can be difficult to determine the meaning of a sentence in isolation.

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

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