apocryphal = archetypal? unbelievable?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 8 03:59:49 UTC 2010

So, Larry, you're saying that in this sentence "apocryphal" is replaceable
by "too good to be true"?

I think "too good to be true" is even more of a stretch than
something catachrestic like "archetypal."

Having seen the movie (and read Beaumont's article) a number of times, I
don't think "apocalyptic" fits the context at all.


On Sun, Feb 7, 2010 at 10:50 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: apocryphal = archetypal? unbelievable?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 9:35 PM -0500 2/7/10, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> >At least that's what it looks like:
> >
> >1971 Roger A. Beaumont  "Images of War" in _Military Affairs_ (Feb.) 6:
>  [A]
> >whole series of films came out of Hollywood [in 1941]...generally disposed
> >to American's [sic] girding its psychological loins for the coming shock
> of
> >battle...[including] "Sergeant York," the almost apocryphal story of a
> >pacifist turned war hero.
> >At the time of writing, Prof. Beaumont was "Associate Director of the
> Center
> >for Advanced Study in Organization Science and Assistant Professor of
> >Organization Science at the University of Wisconsin, University Extension,
> >Milwaukee."
> >
> >Much as I'd like to believe it means "apocryphal," I just can't do it.
> >
> >
> I'll take the devil's advocate position.  The sense is it's *almost*
> too good to be true, truth being stranger than fiction, etc. etc.,
> and since "too good to be true" = apocryphal, there you go.  QED and
> all that.
> LH
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