[Ads-l] gaslighting

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Fri Dec 24 09:38:34 EST 2021


It's also worth mentioning that the data scientist Ben Schmidt, who has written code to calculate the likelihood of a particular word or bigram being found at a particular time (based on the Google Books data), Tweeted yesterday that he analysed the Ricardos script and found six items that were less likely to be said in 1952 than "gaslight":

* postproduction
* 'timeline' of a pregnancy
* the 'female perspective'
* having a 'corporate retreat'
* 'keep a low profile'
* a woman's 'physicality'.

https://twitter.com/benmschmidt/status/1474057321986801670

Jesse Sheidlower

On Fri, Dec 24, 2021 at 08:52:25AM -0500, Ben Yagoda wrote:
> Thanks, Garson. I put a version of the post on my website, no paywall or registration required: https://benyagoda.com/2017/01/20/how-old-is-gaslighting/ <https://benyagoda.com/2017/01/20/how-old-is-gaslighting/>
> 
> I’ve also been alerted to an earlier (1948) use of “the ‘Gaslight’ treatment” from the Miami News, vis newspapers.com <http://newspapers.com/>:
> 
> GASLIGHT--Divorce petitions filed in Dade circuit court in recent weeks reveal an influence traceable to the current run of movies dealing with psychiatric plots, especially those in which the husband tries to convince the wife she is crazy. Several complainants have charged husbands with actions designed to produce fear of mental unbalance, and one suit, filed the other day, claimed the husband "gave her the Gaslight treatment.”
> 
> Ben
> 
> > Date:    Thu, 23 Dec 2021 08:00:58 -0500
> > From:    ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM <mailto:adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>>
> > Subject: Re: Verb form of gaslight used in script of video series "Being the Ricardos" circa 1953
> > 
> > Ben Yagoda wrote a pertinent article titled "How Old Is
> > ‘Gaslighting’?" at "The Chronicle of Higher Education" website back on
> > January 12, 2017.
> > 
> > Restricted access requiring registration / paywall
> > https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2017/01/12/how-old-is-gaslight/&source=gmail-imap&ust=1640926838000000&usg=AOvVaw1hKtNSERsuAYId3yAg8410 <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2017/01/12/how-old-is-gaslight/&source=gmail-imap&ust=1640926838000000&usg=AOvVaw1hKtNSERsuAYId3yAg8410>
> > 
> > Snapshot of article
> > https://www.google.com/url?q=https://web.archive.org/web/20170114192601/https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2017/01/12/how-old-is-gaslight/&source=gmail-imap&ust=1640926838000000&usg=AOvVaw2af0lxx1oQP-UpTUpigX0- <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://web.archive.org/web/20170114192601/https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2017/01/12/how-old-is-gaslight/&source=gmail-imap&ust=1640926838000000&usg=AOvVaw2af0lxx1oQP-UpTUpigX0->
> > 
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > The estimable Zimmer wasn’t done. Consulting with Josh Chetwynd,
> > author of Totally Scripted: Idioms, Words, and Quotes From Hollywood
> > to Broadway That Have Changed the English Language, which has an entry
> > on gaslight, he located and watched a 1952 episode of The Burns and
> > Allen Show called “Grace Buying Boat for George.” (It’s a tough job
> > but somebody’s got to do it.) Zimmer wrote, “At 16:20 in the YouTube
> > video, Harry (Fred Clark) says to Gracie, ‘Give him the gaslight
> > treatment!’ and then explains what that means. A bit later you hear
> > George say, ‘So they sold Gracie on the gaslight bit.’”
> > 
> > Still no verb, you’ll notice.
> > [End excerpt]
> > 
> > Hence, Sorkin's version of Lucille Ball would have been fine if she
> > had said "Don't give me the gaslight treatment."
> > 
> > Garson
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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