[Ads-l] Shifting connotations: Is novelette derogatory?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jun 17 16:48:53 UTC 2015


For 7500<n<17500 words, why not "long story"?

LH

> On Jun 17, 2015, at 12:30 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> The Oxford Dictionaries website has an entry for the noun "novelette"
> with the description "chiefly derogatory":
> 
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.oxforddictionaries.com_us_definition_american-5Fenglish_novelette&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=wk4zrwvkP7GJ9IJ_s-s5rn9YMwMqcjx94GKML2GsOno&s=5F42wLjlPjNfbJ3H71ho13XIkD_FytE8M2i16Rj53D8&e= 
> 
> [Begin excerpt]
> Novelette noun
> chiefly derogatory
> A short novel, typically one that is light and romantic or sentimental
> in character.
> [End excerpt]
> 
> In the domain of science fiction I do not think that "novelette" is
> derogatory. The term is used to indicate the length of a story, and it
> does not have a negative connotation.
> 
> Below is an excerpt from a webpage of the Science Fiction and fantasy
> Writers of America (SFWA) website. The excerpt is about story lengths
> for the Nebula Awards which are the primary honors bestowed by the
> SFWA.
> 
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.sfwa.org_nebula-2Dawards_rules_&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=wk4zrwvkP7GJ9IJ_s-s5rn9YMwMqcjx94GKML2GsOno&s=w4CXpff4IpeYRXYQbBI71nGbuEjkFTqRI8TntuDdjDM&e= 
> 
> [Begin excerpt]
> Nebula Awards will be made in the following categories:
>     1) Short Story: less than 7,500 words;
>     2) Novelette: at least 7,500 words but less than 17,500 words;
>     3) Novella: at least 17,500 words but less than 40,000 words
>     4) Novel: 40,000 words or more.
> [End excerpt]
> 
> I have read/heard the term "novelette" most frequently in discussions
> of genre fiction, and it has been used without derogative intent (I
> think).
> 
> Garson
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=wk4zrwvkP7GJ9IJ_s-s5rn9YMwMqcjx94GKML2GsOno&s=7DpWKC6cJCBMYykebQK0z6WGMzG2bvqKr0lDv22NqoQ&e= 

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