subversive, adj.

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 19 00:53:33 UTC 2010

OED defines this solely as "Having a tendency to subvert or overthrow;
tending to subversion."

But anyone who's had the misfortune to read much postmodern critical theory
over the past, say, ten or fifteen years, knows that _subversive_  is a
favorite word of praise in the much diluted sense of "transgressive" (also a
fave) or "defiantly unconventional."

A random ex. from Google Books, 2005: "The Los Angeles Times's Kenneth Turan
recognized the arrival of a major, if subversive, talent within the heart of
the studio system."


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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