the Machine (UNCLASSIFIED)

Paul Frank paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU
Thu Dec 9 16:10:41 UTC 2010

On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 4:51 PM, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC
<Bill.Mullins at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  "Mullins, Bill AMRDEC" <Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â Re: the Machine (UNCLASSIFIED)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE
>> One of the senses of the word "machine" in the OED is this: "10. orig.
>> U.S. Â [Compare sense 6b.] The controlling organization of a political
>> party or similar body; any organization or group displaying impressive
>> or ruthless efficiency." But I don't think that's quite what The
>> Machine means here (see below). Or is it?
>> WikiLeaks vs The Machine
>> US government tells firms to pull plug on whistleblowing website as
>> hackers cause chaos with revenge attacks on Assange's 'enemies'
> <
> ne-
>> 2155031.html>
> Isn't the first sense in OED appropriate here? Â See particularly the
> 1829 quote.

Not really in my opinion:

a. A material or immaterial structure, esp. the fabric of the world or
of the universe; a construction or edifice. Now rare.
1829    R. Hall Wks. (1832) VI. 457   The mind casts its eye over the
whole machine of society.

I think that here the Machine means, as pointed out earlier, the
Establishment. The cabal that pulls the strings.


Paul Frank
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