[Ads-l] "Kryptonite" Finally in OED

Mullins, Bill CIV (US) william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL
Thu Jun 25 17:07:33 UTC 2015

Many elements of the Superman mythology first appeared in the daily comic strip or radio show.   No doubt also true for Batman, Spiderman and other characters.

----- Original Message -----
From: Shapiro, Fred [mailto:fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2015 07:08 AM
Subject: "Kryptonite" Finally in OED

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Subject:      "Kryptonite" Finally in OED

Some on this list may recall that I have long advocated that the OED includ=
e words that are important in specific popular fictional works (novels, fil=
ms, comics, etc.), regardless of whether the word in question has developed=
 figurative meanings outside of the specific fiction.  One of my main examp=
les has been the term "kryptonite."

I now see that the latest release of additions to the OED includes an entry=
 for "kryptonite."  I don't know that my campaign had anything to do with t=
his, nor that my general argument has gained any acceptance (the OED's addi=
tion of "kryptonite" may well have been based on figurative meanings outsid=
e of the Superman context).  But I am still gratified by the addition of th=
is word.

It is interesting that the OED entry shows that "kryptonite" was used in th=
e "Adventures of Superman" radio series long before it was used in the comi=

Fred Shapiro

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

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

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