Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun May 5 14:26:31 UTC 2013

At 5/5/2013 07:54 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>In today's version, it's "_slain_ Civil Rights icon Emmett Till."  Usually
>the phrase you hear is "slain Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King,"
>but since Till wasn't a "leader," the only alternative in media Inglish is

This is exactly why I wondered about a progression (in some people's
and cable networks' minds).

An alternative to "leader" for Emmett Till might be "martyr" (more
honored and significant than simply a "victim").  We all know who the
greatest martyr in human history is.  He has become an idol.  And
icons have been painted, carved, etc. for him.

Thus "martyr" to "idol" to "icon".


>It would take too long - apparently - to tell millennials-on-brain-support
>just who Emmett Till  was. You know, "a young black teenager kidnaped,
>beaten, and murdered by white racists in 1955."
>"Civil Rights icon" is just cooler.
>On Sun, May 5, 2013 at 1:42 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: "icon"
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > On Sat, May 4, 2013 at 7:42 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com
> > >wrote:
> >
> > > Honestly, I don't think "martyr" or "idol" has anything to do with it.
> >
> >
> > *Especially* not in the case cited. Victim? Yes. "Icon"?! No!

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list