legendary = believe it (verificatory) or not (fabulatory)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 17 14:22:30 UTC 2010

Charlie may correct me, but it seems to me that even the technical
application has changed somewhat over the last century. "Saints' legends" is
ambiguous (to me) because some saints were real, others were not. When a
real-life saint, like St. Francis, is credited with a miraculous tale, that,
according to my taxonomy, would be a "legend." When an imaginary saint, like
St. Bridget, is so credited, it's a "myth."

Or maybe I just wasn't paying attention that day, or maybe saints'
stories started out as an exception because of _The Golden Legend_.


On Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 9:08 AM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: legendary = believe it (verificatory) or not (fabulatory)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Feb 17, 2010, at 4:40 AM, Amy West wrote:
> > I like the folklorists' distinctions between folktale, myth, and
> > legend....
> these are distinctions drawn for certain (excellent) technical
> purposes, but they aren't an account of how the words are used in
> ordinary english, which is much messier and more variable.
> technical uses aren't privileged over ordinary uses except in the
> appropriate technical contexts.
> arnold
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