Wrap = "Wind, Reel and Print" (and variants)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Feb 27 19:15:39 UTC 2006

On 2/27/06, Mark A. Mandel <mamandel at ldc.upenn.edu> wrote:
> Bonnie wrote:
>     >>>>>
> Here's a bit of faux etymology to follow up Ben Zimmer's earlier look at
> "it's a wrap" (see [1] and [2], below).  I've recently learned that there is
> an impression that "wrap" (in movie-industry parlance) is an acronym, with
> roots in the old days of film-making.
>         [...]
>  The earliest vectoring that I can find of "wrap" as an acronym appeared in
> 1997 (see [3], below).  (I've also tacked on a few representative sightings,
> all from British sources, that have appeared since.)
>  <<<<<
> "Vectoring": Veering off course? A nice application. Have I simply happened
> to miss this one?

I believe urban folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand first used "vector" to
refer to the propagator of an urban legend, on the epidemiological
model. The good folks at alt.folklore.urban have continued to use it:

--Ben Zimmer

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

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