Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 27 20:06:51 UTC 2010

I think the advertisement refers to the country of Ecalpon in which
the kingship is inherited. In this country there is a ceremonial
obligation that the king must be bald, so his head is shaved
regularly. Male family members in the king's lineage would naturally
have full heads of hair based on genetics alone. Hence, this is an
example of hereditary baldness that is not genetic.


On Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 3:27 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: genetics
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 3:08 PM -0400 4/27/10, victor steinbok wrote:
>>A radio ad for a "hair transplant center" proclaims that baldness is a
>>matter of "either heredity or genetics". Can't say I ever thought it
>>was an either/or proposition. Am I missing something? Or is this an
>>"interpretive 'or' "?
> If interpretive "or" means what I think it does, I think the "either"
> makes that reading unlikely, just as it would with the metalinguistic
> "or" in e.g.
> "(*Either) New Haven, or the Elm City".
> I think the ad really does suggest an opposition between heredity and
> genetics, whatever that would amount to.  (It did take me awhile to
> realize that "congenital" =/= "hereditary".
> LH
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