[Ads-l] Cancel culture, cancel (2018)

dave at WILTON.NET dave at WILTON.NET
Tue Feb 11 13:46:00 EST 2020


I've found some earlier Tweets. Disregarding all the tweets about whether Boy George will "cancel Culture Club tour," the earliest Twitter thread that unambiguously refers to it is this:

MMD @DougieFresh818
What is Cancel culture? 🤔 @doctorchazz
2:22 PM · Feb 8, 2017·Twitter for iPhone

chazz splash @chazzsplash
Feb 8, 2017 Replying to  @DougieFresh818
the new black twitter thing where people are "cancelled" for stating opinions or doing stuff BW twitter can't get jiggy wit

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of Baker, John
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 12:46 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Cancel culture, cancel (2018)

Here is a use of “cancel culture” on Twitter, as quoted in an article on Mashable.com (Nov. 18, 2017) that, in turn, was picked up by NewsBank’s Access World News database.  The article credits the quote to Shanita Hubbard (@msshanitarenee) November 18, 2017.  Note that “cancel culture” is in quotation marks.

“Let’s talk “cancel culture.”  Personally, I am willing to give a lot of grace to young Black girls simply because the world doesn’t.  I wasn’t born reading bell hooks.  I had to grow.  So does Gabby Douglas.  And so do some of you.”


John Baker


From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of dave at WILTON.NET
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 10:52 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Cancel culture, cancel (2018)




The earliest citation for "cancel culture" that I have found is this one:

"XXX Tentacion Still Had Room to Grow." Los Angeles Sentinel, 21 June 2018, A7.

"Something that has become seemingly unavoidable in recent times is 'cancel culture.' To put it simply, 'cancel culture' is when people who have done or said something either recently or in the past get 'canceled' meaning people will not support said person in whatever future projects they have approaching. In a way it's a common-man's blacklisting.

And there is this slightly earlier use of verb "to cancel" in this sense from a transcript of the Fox News show "Your World."

Baia, Dion; Partsinevelos, Kristina; Timpf, Kat; Corke, Kevin; Payne, Charles; et al. "President Trump's Pardons; Unemployment Rate Drops; Trade War?; North Korea Summit Back On." Your World with Neil Cavuto, CQ Roll Call, 1 Jun 2018:

"BAIA: Yes. I'm surprised they acted so quickly in canceling the show [i.e., 'Roseanne'], instead of like with 'House of Cards,' they kind of wrote Kevin out [sic] Spacey.
"TIMPF: They canceled Kevin Spacey."

I'm sure these can be antedated. The verb, in particular, is difficult to search for.

--Dave Wilton

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