Pre-Archaic Industrial Jargon

Martin Kaminer martin.kaminer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 7 18:39:29 UTC 2012

I'm wondering about the way in which words no longer in common usage
appear as blue-collar occupational titles.  This morning I was stuck
in traffic between trucks belonging to a 'dismantler' and a
'purveyor', each an intriguing contrast between the sesquipedalian and
the quotidian.  I'm thinking also of 'demurrage charges' for rented
mechanical equipment (to say nothing of bills of lading) and other
ways in which the pace of language change mirrors the pace of
technological change, or lack thereof.  Curious if there are other
examples which support or disprove.  I can only imagine what folks
will be saying about the 'quaint' fiber optic installation vans
decades hence.

The American Dialect Society -

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