[Ads-l] Speaking of politically inspired lexicographic shifts

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Wed Mar 8 13:16:43 EST 2017


I think so do "come" and "leave" imply volition, and perhaps are more the crux than "immigrate" and "immigrant".

>From the OED, "come, v.":  1. In its most literal sense it expresses the hitherward motion of a voluntary agent.  [Emphasis added.]


The OED is not as explicit about "leave" and thitherward.


Joel


      From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 12:25 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Speaking of politically inspired lexicographic shifts
   
"Immigrant" implies volition. As the AHD def suggests, an immigrant intends
to settle peacefully, not to "be settled" by force.

I believe the implication of "peacefully" is also significant.  Are the
Germanic invaders of fifth-century Britain routinely called "immigrants"?
What about - from the POV of the Indians - the white settlers who took over
Native American lands?

JL

> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Sent: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 10:34 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Speaking of politically inspired lexicographic shifts
>

>
> Well, OK, it=E2=80=99s not just the healthcare debate that=E2=80=99s =
> responsible for introducing argument structure variation in =
> =E2=80=9Cdeprive=E2=80=9D.  But I wanted to segue to the =
> slaves-as-immigrants flap occasioned by Ben Carson=E2=80=99s reference =
> in his recent remarks characterizing slaves as immigrants who worked =
> particularly hard for particularly low wages. Given the opportunity to =
> =E2=80=9Cwalk back=E2=80=9D his remarks a day or two later, he supported =
> his reference with lexicographic evidence, noting that ( "An immigrant =
> is: 'a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign
> country=E2=80=99=E2=
> =80=9D. Sure enough, Carson=E2=80=99s definition (apparently from Oxford =
> Dictionaries: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/immigrant) is =
> echoed by the AHD=E2=80=99s entry: "A person who leaves one country to =
> settle permanently in another.=E2=80=9D =20
>
> Does this extend to enslaved persons and others forced to live or =
> =E2=80=9Csettle=E2=80=9D in another country? Were Jews and gypsies =
> loaded into cattle cars in the 1930s and =E2=80=9840s and transported to =
> death camps in Germany immigrants too?  Technically, they did leave =
> France or Holland or wherever and =E2=80=9Csettled" permanently=E2=80=94if=
>  you can excuse the adverb=E2=80=94in another country, but did they =
> leave one country to settle in another? Whether that includes slaves or =
> deportees may depends on what we take the meaning of =E2=80=9Cto=E2=80=9D =
> to be in =E2=80=9Cto settle..." (purposive/intentional?  resultative?).=20=
>
>
> The OED passes the buck to the verb (=E2=80=98one who or that =
> immigrates=E2=80=99), which in turn is defined as 'To come to settle in =
> a country (which is not one's own); to pass into a new habitat or place =
> of residence (lit. and fig.)=E2=80=99, with the sense of =E2=80=9Cto=E2=80=
> =9D again being crucial.  It=E2=80=99s not clear to me whether any or =
> all of these definitions would at least by implication rule out =
> Secretary Carson=E2=80=99s expansive reading that extends to what he =
> calls =E2=80=9Cinvoluntary immigrants=E2=80=9D (see e.g. =
> http://thehill.com/homenews/322645-carson-doubles-down-
> slaves-were-involun=
> [http://thehill.com/sites/default/files/thehill_logo_200.jpg]<
> http://thehill.com/homenews/322645-carson-doubles-down-slaves-were-
> involun=>
>
> TheHill<http://thehill.com/homenews/322645-carson-
> doubles-down-slaves-were-involun=>
> thehill.com
> The Hill is a top US political website, read by the White House and more
> lawmakers than any other site -- vital for policy, politics and election
> campaigns.
>
>
> [http://thehill.com/sites/default/files/thehill_logo_200.jpg]<
> http://thehill.com/homenews/322645-carson-doubles-down-slaves-were-
> involun=>
>
> TheHill<http://thehill.com/homenews/322645-carson-
> doubles-down-slaves-were-involun=>
> [http://thehill.com/sites/default/files/thehill_logo_200.jpg]<
> http://thehill.com/homenews/322645-carson-doubles-down-slaves-were-
> involun=>
>
> TheHill<http://thehill.com/homenews/322645-carson-
> doubles-down-slaves-were-involun=>
> thehill.com
> The Hill is a top US political website, read by the White House and more
> lawmakers than any other site -- vital for policy, politics and election
> campaigns.
>
>
> thehill.com
> The Hill is a top US political website, read by the White House and more
> lawmakers than any other site -- vital for policy, politics and election
> campaigns.
>
>
> tary-immigrants)
>
> Any thoughts?  (Steve Kleinedler at the AHD suggests the possibility of =
> an added Usage Note in subsequent editions, if it=E2=80=99s determined =
> that such a note is necessary.)
>
> At the very least, in =E2=80=9Cinvoluntary immigrant=E2=80=9D we have an =
> early candidate for euphemism of the year. =20
>
> LH
>
>
> =20=
>
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>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> American Dialect Society<http://www.americandialect.org/>
> www.americandialect.org
> The American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, is dedicated to the study
> of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or
> dialects of other ...
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



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