Antedating of "Yalie"

Wed Nov 5 16:16:11 UTC 2003

        It appears that my original point that many colleges do not have special terms for their students/staff/alumni is being undercut by persistent evidence that many colleges do have special terms.  I put it to the list, then:  Are there other colleges that manage somehow to do without Yalie, Wahoo, and so forth?

        More broadly, what are the factors that lead names to be coined and brought into common use under some circumstances but not others?  IIRC, Mencken said that writers paid very little attention to split infinitives until the catchy name was coined, at which point they became a much bigger deal.

        As for the suggestion that names for decades get coined only after the completion of the decade, it's inconsistent with our experience in the nineties, eighties, seventies, and so forth.  I suppose it's possible that names like the Naughty Nineties could come after the fact - certainly a name like that cannot precede the decade, as nineties by itself can.

John Baker

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