[Ads-l] mad king

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Sun Oct 15 15:11:22 EDT 2017

In reference to Donald Trump, Charlie Sykes today said on ABC News’s “The Powerhouse Roundtable,” “Look, Republicans have the problem is [sic] they’ve allied themselves with a mad king….”

http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/sykes-republicans-allied-mad-king-50494531 <http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/sykes-republicans-allied-mad-king-50494531>

Although I haven’t seen it, "The Madness of King George” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Madness_of_King_George <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Madness_of_King_George>) is a well-known movie and King George III's mental illness is well known.

As an aside, according to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_III_of_the_United_Kingdom#William_Pitt <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_III_of_the_United_Kingdom#William_Pitt>), King George III’s mental illness did not strike until 1788 (although there may have been an earlier minor episode), years after the American Revolutionary War ended. A 1966 article by I. Macalpine and R. Hunter discussing King George’s illness as porphyria can be downloaded at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1843211/ <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1843211/>. 

When I Googled for “mad king” (not in Wiktionary or the Oxford Living Dictionaries), however, the top hit was from “Game of Thrones.” 

According to a GoT wiki (http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Aerys_II_Targaryen <http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Aerys_II_Targaryen>), King Aerys II Targaryen is “popularly” called “the Mad King.”

I assume that Sykes was referring to King George III, but Game of Throners may very well have assumed Skyes’s reference was GoT.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list