_Splib_ redux

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 14 13:34:37 UTC 2010

Blame me, not Herb. However, "laid" does seem to mean "high" in that
passage. Like "laid back." Like "mellow."  Like HDAS offers two later,
apparently independent, cites.


On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 1:36 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: _Splib_ redux
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 11:02 AM, Jonathan Lighter
> <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > In fact, Simmons also says, "They started calling him Splib because he
> > stayed laid [i.e., high] all the time."
> Was it really Herb (name-drop: a frat-brother of mine) who defined
> _laid_ as "high"? Because, as any fool of the appropriate,
> pre-desegregation age-group from Saint Louis will tell  you, _stayed
> laid_ means "was never seen ion the set other than as
> sharp[ly-dressed]," with no relationship to any kind of
> narco-trafficking or sexual activity at all. Indeed, I recall that
> this was mentioned in an earlier discussion here that included that
> fact that, back in the day, "lay"/"get laid," in the sexual sense (of
> course, a stud who got laid in the old StL-BE sense was usually at
> least hoping to get laid in the contemporary general, sexual sense),
> was - and pretty much still is - restricted to WE and _*get laid*_
> was, at that time, used only in reference to women and in the caption
> of a ubiquitous cartoon in which some kind of newly-hatched fowl - a
> duck? - says, "I just got laid," which is utter nonsense. No
> freshly-laid egg hatches on the spot.
> Larry revealed that he was the author, under a synonym, of a
> well-known, 1971 paper in semantics in which he pointed out that a
> sentence like
> 1) Mary fucked John
> had no literal semantic reading, only a metaphorical one like unto that in
> BE by
> 2) Mary fucked over John.
> At the time that Larry's paper was published, a sentence like (1) was
> so unusual as to border on the ridiculous. People - well, guys - were
> subject to burst into laughter.
> A friend at UC Davis once bragged that she was so hip that hearing the
> word "fuck" uttered in her presence was no parts of a problem. Unless
> it was used literally, of course:
> " 'He fucked her.' Ugh!!!"
> Even though this was as recent - for some of us - as the '70's, there
> were still, in those days, "coarse" words that no gentleman would
> utter in the presence of a lady, even in hippie-time California.
> --
> -Wilson
> –––
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> –Mark Twain
> Once that we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity,
> or evil intent, we can uncumber ourselves of the impossible burden of
> trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition
> that we could be in error, without necessarily deeming ourselves
> idiotic or unworthy.
>  –Kathryn Schulz
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