[Ads-l] annals of acronymic etymythology

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Thu Aug 2 10:42:31 EDT 2018


Here's an interesting question:  Etymythology has been a very strong phenomenon for centuries.  Even etymological scholars have long been attracted to colorful, unfounded etymological theories.  But now, in a society where right-wing media and even the President of the United States are mounting an enormous assault on concepts of education, science, accuracy, truth, etc., is etymythology growing in popularity?  I am not asserting that it is growing in popularity, but it seems logical that it would in the aforementioned environment.  Another factor that might contribute to such growth is the decline in use of dictionaries.

Fred Shapiro



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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, August 2, 2018 9:47 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: annals of acronymic etymythology

For The Atlantic, I take a look at the latest bogus etymology meme to sweep
the Internet, asserting that "tag" (the game) stands for "touch and go."

https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theatlantic.com%2Fentertainment%2Farchive%2F2018%2F08%2Fthat-meme-youre-sharing-is-probably-bogus%2F566582%2F&data=02%7C01%7Cfred.shapiro%40yale.edu%7Cb0c8396dc2e94aa6d38508d5f87e7570%7Cdd8cbebb21394df8b4114e3e87abeb5c%7C0%7C0%7C636688144378969865&sdata=4k1VlDG9Gm00gLRNApCw607Zsr16YXnWRIrn7lAgk6c%3D&reserved=0

I'm hoping that if I keep repeating Larry Horn's term "etymythology" it'll
get some traction. Douglas Harper of the Online Etymology Dictionary chips
in with his own blend, "acronymphomania."

https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.etymonline.com%2Fcolumns%2Fpost%2Facronymphomania&data=02%7C01%7Cfred.shapiro%40yale.edu%7Cb0c8396dc2e94aa6d38508d5f87e7570%7Cdd8cbebb21394df8b4114e3e87abeb5c%7C0%7C0%7C636688144378969865&sdata=usY8Ss9Mxi0W0uAblgKackAxDeYjbU25re5pSYR22OM%3D&reserved=0

--bgz

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