Short take: penguin, information

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 17 00:50:02 UTC 2010

No, no! I was not looking at the difference between Swift and
Mamet--quite to the contrary, I think the usage is the same. But it is
different from the other examples in the OED under the allegedly the
same meaning.

I agree that, in principle, suits are important. But you're assuming
that the "suit types" in charge of the creative aspects at the
studios/networks actually wear suits. Perhaps they do, perhaps not.
But the issue remains the same--the reference is to a supposedly
ignorant, stiff individuals, likely men.


> On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 2:17 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at> wrote:
>> Two comments:
>> I think the suits are important. In an environment of artist-types, the
>> executives wearing suits and ties don't just behave differently, they
>> look different, and "penguins" is a useful description encompassing
>> behavior and look.
>> As for the difference, if any, between Swift and Mamet, isn't Swift
>> dealing with a book, whereas Mamet is talking about a dramatic TV show
>> 42 minutes long? Different media require different amounts of
>> information. I would suggest that even Mamet's approach would include
>> too much information for most poetry.
>> DanG

The American Dialect Society -

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