Semantic drift?: "diatribe" (Was: Help Needed Please)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Mar 1 17:43:25 UTC 2007

OED defines "diatribe" as "In modern use: A dissertation or discourse directed against some person or work; a bitter and violent criticism; an invective."

  I've noticed that media newspersons frequently - in fact usually - use this word to describe any pubicly uttered,  emphatically negative comment. It need not be "violent," "bitter," or include "invective."


Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Amy West
Subject: Re: Help Needed Please

>Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 13:18:35 -0800
>From: Brenda Lester
>Subject: Re: Help Needed Please
>Does this list-serve have a FAQs? I could not find one when I search
>the ADS site.
> If not, may those who share your opinion should create specific
>quidelines to your liking.

I'm not a dues paying member of the ADS so I should have held my tongue.

I consider the student request similar to those that get posted for
Safire's assistants, and I like the current laissez-faire policy of
letting those who want to respond to do so, and those who don't, to
keep silent.

---Amy West

The American Dialect Society -

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