"select" = certain (of many)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Nov 26 03:31:53 UTC 2008

In my day (i.e., up till this afternoon) adjectival "select" meant "carefully selected for excellence or fitness; picked." (I paraphrase OED).
So there's this helpful notice at the local Office Depot store advising that "Select television receivers will no longer be operative after February 19, 2009. On that date [etc., etc.]."
Observe how not a single element of the usual definition remains - except for a vague sense of "E pluribus nonnullum." The receivers affected are mostly old and clunky, and certainly undistinguished.

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list