"fighting through inadversity"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Dec 20 16:00:08 UTC 2010

At 10:34 AM -0500 12/20/10, Ronald Butters wrote:
>Larry, are you nominating this for "Least-Likely-to-Succeed
>Word-of-the-Year" or "Most Prominent Surfacing of Linguistic Dark

It's too unlikely to succeed even for that category.  But not unique.
Besides the reference to "a family's inadversity", Google Books turns
up a couple more (ignoring typos for "in adversity"), including:

"In tort law, the reasonableness standard is used indeed to define a
minimum of acceptable conduct regarding an individual's adversity or
inadversity to risk taking."
(Leo Katz et al., _Foundations of Criminal Law_) This is presumably a
reworking of "aversity/inaversity")

A puzzling comment in Jonathon Lazear's _Meditations for Men who Do
Too Much_ (1992) observes that
"We can learn from adversity as well as through inadversity."
(So "inadversity" here = prosperity?)

But my favorite is an entry in Alfred Bryant's _English-Zulu
Dictionary_ (1986), which fills a much-needed gap by informing us
that the Zulu word for inadversity is ukuPhambeka.  So if Belichick
leaves the Pats for a stint with the Durban Dental Clicks, he'll know
how to refer to his team's fighting over inadversity...er,


>On Dec 19, 2010, at 11:56 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>  Tonight after the New England Patriots managed to come back to defeat
>>  the Green Bay Packers by a surprisingly slim margin in a football
>>  game in which they had been heavily favored, their coach Bill
>>  Belichick (generally considered to be the "brainiest" coach in the
>>  league) praising his team efforts in "fighting through inadversity".
>>  Not too many hits, but there were a few, e.g.
>>  "Sometimes a weaker army overcomes inadversity. Hell, even David
>>beat Goliath."
>>  "I have also noted that Koos (1946), in his study of a family's
>>  inadversity, found the same basic responses: Some became totally and
>>  permanently disorganized..."
>>  "The study of literature nourishes youth, and entertains old age,
>>  adorns posterity, solaces inadversity..."
>>  I don't think it has legs, though.
>>  LH
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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