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

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 19 11:55:37 UTC 2012

I would add that "hot seat" has been associated with discomfort and
questioning for over 50 years.

"Office of War Information, which was hauled over the coals a couple of
weeks back for allegedly favoring the networks, was back, on the *hot
seat* again
this week"

The Billboard
April 3, 1943


On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 6:38 AM, W Brewer <brewerwa at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: FW: 'Hot seat" definition is wrong (Monday's Rachel
> Maddow
>               Show)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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