[Ads-l] "insane" as a compliment

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jul 17 11:46:09 EDT 2018


> On Jul 17, 2018, at 11:41 AM, MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY RDECOM AMRDEC (US) <william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL> wrote:
> 
> _Los Angeles Times_ 28 Aug 1960 p C49 col 1 [classified ad]
> 
> "Several dealers called and complained that my prices are insane -- TOO LOW!”
> 
I would think this is a literal use, as in the old Crazy Eddie (“His prices are insane!”) commercials.  The ones Margaret, urbandictionary, and I mention (and that you can get by googling “That play was insane”) don’t really mean crazy.  A baseball play, or a riff by a drummer, isn’t literally or ironically ‘mentally unbalanced’, but something more like ‘unbelievable, unbelievably good’.

LH  

> 
>> ----
>> 
>> Possibly because his lyrics are "swingin' like insane," to quote a catch-phrase of a StL DJ, back in the '50's. Remember "Crazy, Man, Crazy,"
>> by Bill Haley & the Comets?
>> 
>> On Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 10:04 AM Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
>> 
>>> A voice on NPR just burbled (lauditorily) that a particular individual
>>> "is an insane lyricist!"
>>> 
>>> 
>>> --Charlie
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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