You fascist!

Ron butters ronbutters at AOL.COM
Sat Jan 21 15:50:46 UTC 2012

this appears to me to be a slight shift in the use of the word without any change in meaning, so there is perhaps no reason why even the OED should note it. There is a sort of general rule of pejorative use that causes a pejorative use of a word when both speaker and nearer agree that the category so named is revile-able. You liberal/socialist/communist/Protestant/Catholic/Republican/professor/lexicographer.

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On Jan 21, 2012, at 9:51 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

> Strictly speaking, OED has no evidence of the very loose political
> usage of "fascist" and "fascism" till the 1970s.  (Unless I'm more
> senile than I think, they began to surface prominently in antiwar
> discourse about 1968.)
> At any rate:
> 1944 John T. Flynn _As We Go Marching_ (Garden City: Doubleday) 1:
> Fascism has attained to the dignity of a cuss word in America. When we
> disagree with a man's social or political arguments, if we cannot
> reasonably call him a communist, we call him a fascist. The word
> itself has little more relation to its original and precise object
> than a certain well-beloved American expletive has to the harmless
> domestic animal it actually describes.
> As a prominent America-Firster, Flynn was undoubtedly on the receiving
> end of some of those "fascist" accusations. His book, however, is a
> libertarian warning against genuinely fascist tendencies in American
> life.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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