FW: 'Hot seat" definition is wrong (Monday's Rachel Maddow Show)

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 19 10:38:09 UTC 2012

BP: <<<need a definition of "hot seat," . . . look it up in a dictionary .
. . call someone who works at a dictionary to get it right>>>

WB: BP's responsibility must be to record usage, not prescribe it. Rachel's
definition is akin to mine: Being put in a hot seat is a situation of being
asked tough, expectedly embarrassing questions making the subject sweat &
squirm. If such a semantic development is not in BP's dictionary, he must
make it a marginale for the next edition. The OED doesn't have a dialect
death panel, unlike the AHD.

BP: <<<"Hot seat" is an extension from "electric chair."

WB: I had never made that connection, until now. I love etymology, but
certainly a fraction of 1% of the Anglologue community has the slightest
interest in it. And so, prescriptive etymology is just another form of
linguistic bullying. In this case, it is a futile, malicious interference
with a natural semantic process, an extension of meaning evolving into a
semantic change.

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

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