'humanist', adj. = "human/humane"

Geoffrey Nunberg nunberg at ISCHOOL.BERKELEY.EDU
Sun Jan 19 19:14:15 UTC 2014

Over and above its modern use for "atheist" (which has been touched on in the ADS list) some people seem to construe the word compositionally, but without any historical resonances, as meaning something like "human/humane" ("humanist touch" gets 400+ actual ghits) or "persona(b)l(e)":

> “She does a translation that gets lost when you have the big P.R. firms of the world try to represent companies here,” said David Sze of the venture capital firm Greylock Partners, who has worked with Ms. Barker through Greylock’s investments in Facebook, Airbnb and other companies. “There’s a style in which Brandee competes and wins and drives that’s a lot more authentic and humanist.” NY Times
>  The problem with Berg is that, despite his earnest intentions to pay tribute to those in the military, he doesn't seem to know how to do it in a respectful, appropriate manner on screen. He's Paul Greengrass without the smart humanist touch.
> One more reason I’d like to stick up for this movie: It’s not just directed, it’s written, which I (as a writer married to a writer) am going to postulate actually matters. To call a movie “humanist” these days can feel like damning it with faint praise, but I don’t think it diminishes the importance of the director to point out that the least interesting use of auteurism as an approach to watching films is its deployment as an excuse not to give a crap what a movie is actually about.

This is presumably independent of Madonna's "I'm not a feminist, I'm a humanist,” which involves different senses of both stem and suffix (no to mention metalinguistic negation).


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