[Ads-l] fiat (WAS Re: Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain = clients (that bring in revenue))

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 19 23:17:17 EDT 2018


Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> As an aside, this cartoon has an interesting example of “fiat” (“fiat money”),
> a definition common in modern times in reference to crypto but arguably
> not in the OLD https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fiat.
> Wiktionary https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fiat_money#English
> says: Money that is given legal value or made legal tender for money debts
> by government fiat. BB

The OED lists "fiat money" as a compound under "fiat" with a first
citation in 1880. Below are two citations in March 1878. The sense is
unclear in the first citation. The second citation provides a solid
semantic match, I think.

[Begin excerpt from OED – check for errors]
fiat, n.
Compounds C2.
fiat-money n. U.S. money (such as an inconvertible paper currency)
which is made legal tender by a ‘fiat’ of the government, without
having an intrinsic or promissory value equal to its nominal value.

1880   ‘E. Kirke’ Life J. A. Garfield 30   We shall still hear echoes
of the old conflict, such as..the virtues of ‘fiat-money’.
[End excerpt from OED]

Date: March 6, 1878
Newspaper: The Indianapolis News
Newspaper Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Article: (Untitled short item)
Quote Page 2, Column 1
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt – check for errors]
"Fiat" money is what the congressional league wants. Fiat justitia is
what it needs.
[End excerpt]

Date: March 9, 1878
Newspaper: The People's Vindicator
Newspaper Location: Natchitoches, Louisiana
Article: More Money
Quote Page 2, Column 1
Database: Newspapers.com
Note: The word "quantity" is misspelled "quntity"

[Begin excerpt – check for errors]
We admit we belong to the fiat money school, but we are not as radical
and exclusive as some. In our opinion gold and silver coins are
standards of value, selected by the common consent of civilized
mankind because of their very slight fluctuation; but as a currency,
per se, a circulating medium between man and man, for the uses of
trade and commerce, they are, beyond a moderate quntity of fractional
denominations for small change, perfectly useless, and the quantity
required is totally deficient.
[End excerpt]

Garson





>
>> On 19 Jul 2018, at 06:36, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>
>> Bill Mullins posted a July 25, 1895 citation for "Financial
>> Rainmakers" that included a single-panel cartoon depicting rainmakers
>> employing fancifully labeled devices based on the free coinage of
>> silver. For example, the cannon rammer was labeled "16 to 1" which
>> referred to the exchange ratio for silver and gold coins. Here is a
>> clipping showing the cartoon. Peter Reitan's message included a link
>> to a version of the same cartoon that appeared later on November 7,
>> 1895:
>>
>> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/21997547/silverrainmakers/
>>
>> Stephen Goranson has pointed to thematically pertinent precursors.
>>
>> This message also points to precursor citations for this metaphorical
>> framework. The term "rainmaker" does not appear directly in these
>> citations, but I think they help to illustrate the emergence of the
>> modern sense of "rainmaker"; a "rainmaker" causes increased economic
>> activity.
>>
>> The proponents of the coinage of silver believed that the circulation
>> of additional coins would enable greater economic activity and prevent
>> the pains of an economic contraction. Strict adherence to a gold
>> standard might cause debilitating deflation they believed.
>>
>> The linkage of free coinage and rainmaking occurred via the comical
>> phrase "free coinage of rain" which was printed in August 1893 and
>> later. The July 1895 cartoon humorously illustrated the combination of
>> free coinage and rainmaking.
>>
>> Date: August 2, 1893
>> Newspaper: The Indianapolis News
>> Newspaper Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
>> Article: Short untitled item
>> Quote Page 4, Column 3
>> Database: Newspapers.com
>>
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> What the country would really like to have is a free coinage of rain.
>> [End excerpt]
>>
>>
>> Date: June 8, 1894
>> Newspaper: The Miami Republican
>> Newspaper Location:
>> Article: Untitled short item
>> Quote Page 3, Column 2
>> Database: Newspapers.com
>>
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> We hereby demand the free coinage of rain in unlimited qualities for a
>> short season for this section of Kansas. If we don't get it within
>> reasonable time, we will organize a Coxey army and march to
>> Washington.
>> [End excerpt]
>>
>>
>> Date: April 25, 1895
>> Newspaper: The Western News
>> Newspaper Location: Stockton, Kansas
>> Article: Untitled short item
>> Quote Page 4, Column 1
>> Database: Newspapers.com
>>
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> The people of Rooks county are a unit in favor of the free coinage of
>> rain, during the coming season, at a ratio of 1 to 16--one rain every
>> sixteen days.
>> [End excerpt]
>>
>>
>> Date: April 26, 1895
>> Newspaper: The Guthrie Daily Leader
>> Newspaper Location: Guthrie, Oklahoma
>> Article: Untitled short item
>> Quote Page 2, Column 1
>> Database: Chronicling America
>> https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86063952/1895-04-26/ed-1/seq-2/
>>
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> The Leader desires to go on record as being in favor of the free
>> coinage of rain.
>> [End excerpt]
>>
>> Date: June 22, 1895
>> Newspaper: The Kansas Star (The Wichita Star)
>> Newspaper Location: Wichita, Kansas
>> Article: Short untitled item
>> Quote Page 1, Column 3
>> Database: Newspapers.com
>>
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> The good rains of the past two weeks have made the farmers of Sedgwick
>> county more money than all the silver conventions held this year, can
>> make for them. We stand for the free and unlimited coinage of rain.
>> [End excerpt]
>>
>> Garson
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 7:29 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>> Maybe.
>>>
>>>
>>> I would find that position more convincing if the piece appeared in Pawnbrokers' Gazette, where the target reader might look more kindly on rainmakers who brought clouds that obscured the economic sun.
>>>
>>>
>>> Full context would be helpful in analyzing it.
>>>
>>>
>>> The year of the cite, 1891, is interesting.  That is the earliest year in which "scientific" rainmakers made big news.  The government and military carried out elaborate rainmaking tests using balloons, kites, gas explosions, dynamite and rickarack explosives (or something like that) - hence the "tarriff bomb" allusion.
>>>
>>>
>>> The cartoon accompanying the 1895 rainmaker cite about the "free silver" "rainmaker" charlatans comically illustrates what the rainmakers looked like, but labels the various devices with "free silver" economic slogans.
>>>
>>>
>>> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/21943136/elizabethville_echo/
>>>
>>>
>>> Ironically, when President Cleveland cut funding to the government rainmaking experiments in a cost-cutting move necessitated by a bad economy made worse by tarriffs, rainmaking was a victim of the same "tarriff bombs" that obscured the economy in the 1891 commentary.
>>>
>>>
>>> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/21943029/juniata_sentinel_and_republican/
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:59 AM
>>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>>> Subject: Re: Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain = clients (that bring in revenue)
>>>
>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>> Poster:       Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
>>> Subject:      Re: Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain = clients (that bring in
>>>              revenue)
>>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>> Yes, Peter, there is some difference, though perhaps a transition obtains. =
>>> Rainmakers were often seen as charlatans. And in the 1891 case, the sun is =
>>> indeed said to go away for some folks, but for others presumably cash flows=
>>> in to the pawn shop, here presented as disreputable. maybe.
>>>
>>> Stephen
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: American Dialect Society <..> on behalf of Peter Reitan <...>
>>> Sent: Monday, July 16, 2018 2:03 PM
>>> To: ...
>>> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain =3D clients (that br=
>>> ing in revenue)
>>>
>>> I read these two "rainmaker" cites as being different from the current sens=
>>> e of the partner who make it rain by bringing in the paying clients.
>>>
>>> The 1891 Springfield Republican cite is backwards, the "rainmaker" makes th=
>>> e economic sun go away with clouds caused by tariffs.
>>>
>>> The Dixon Evening Telegraph citation refers to charlatans, who are as disho=
>>> nest as con-artists who pretend to bring rains for a fee.
>>>
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: Stephen Goranson<...>
>>> Sent: =FD7/=FD16/=FD2018 10:07
>>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<...>
>>> Subject: Re: Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain =3D clients (that bring in r=
>>> evenue)
>>>
>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -------------------=
>>> ----
>>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <...>
>>> Poster:       Stephen Goranson <...>
>>> Subject:      Re: Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain =3D clients (that bring=
>>> in
>>>              revenue)
>>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------=
>>> ----
>>>
>>> Maybe relevant:
>>>
>>> "...These as a rule make fairly good wages when they work, but every little=
>>> =3D
>>> while some rain-maker comes along and by discharging a few tariff bombs dr=
>>> =3D
>>> ives their financial sun under a cloud...."
>>>
>>>
>>> Springfield Republican, page 5
>>> Publication Date:
>>> December 6, 1891
>>> Published as:
>>> Springfield Republican
>>> Location:
>>> Springfield, Massachusetts
>>> Headline:
>>> Springfield News And Comment. Pawnbrokers And Their Shops. Peculiarities In=
>>> =3D
>>> The Business Which Has Its
>>> Article Type:
>>> News/Opinion
>>>
>>>
>>> S. Goranson
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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