[Ads-l] Facebookery: "Sally refuses to be _gaslit_."

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 15 14:40:49 EST 2017


> On Jan 15, 2017, at 10:47 AM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> Wouldn't the word "gaslit" be familiar in the sense of "lit by gas", and
> wouldn't the Academy Award nominated movie and it's context be familiar to
> just about everyone?
> 
> I don't think the connection is hard to make.

I don’t know; given that it’s from the title of the film, which in turn derives from the use of gas lights in the film (and I assume the earlier play), it’s a bit indirect—not to the extent of “grandstood” as the past tense of “grandstand”, but somewhere along that continuum.  Or maybe referring to someone disposed of in a wood-chipper as having been “Fargone” rather than “Fargoed”.  (Sorry for the spoiler alert.)

LH 
> 
> On Jan 13, 2017 11:49 AM, "ADSGarson O'Toole" <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> Ben Zimmer wrote:
>>> It's remarkable that "gaslighting" was considered common enough
>>> knowledge by then that it didn't require an explanation tying it back
>>> to the movie, and it's equally remarkable that the verb had already
>>> taken on the irregular morphology of "gaslit" for the past tense /
>>> past participle.
>> 
>> Great citation, Ben.
>> 
>> Maybe the term was familiar to movie and television screenplay writers
>> because it facilitated convenient shorthand descriptions when
>> discussing plot mechanics. The writers may have misjudged the
>> popularity/frequency of "to gaslight" in the general populace. Perhaps
>> "to gaslight" was largely unknown to people similar to the characters
>> in "Gomer Pyle, USMC" before it appeared on television.
>> 
>> Garson
>> 
>>> 
>>> On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 8:15 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> I prefer _gaslighted_, but...
>>>> 
>>>> Youneverknow.
>>>> 
>>>> I grew up in the home of the Laclede Gas-Light Company, so...
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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