Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 26 02:33:26 UTC 2010

OED has an entry for the "fig. & transf." use of _schizoid_, dating from the
mid 1950s, but that "definition" hardly does justice to the long
fashionable sense of "notably divided or inconsistent in thought, attitude,
approach, etc."

An excellent ex.:

1995 Paul Boyer in _The International History Review_ XVII (May) 404:
Doherty documents the war movies' "schizoid" portrayal of women: as awakened
patriots...; as traditional wives and sweethearts awaiting their men's
return...; as spunky war workers...; as spiritual inspirations...; and even
as marines....

For me, a merely "fig." usage of "schizoid" would imply something
irrational, confused, perhaps paradoxical, certainly undesirable.  In the
above example (and many others) the inconsistency reflects aspects of
reality, not pathology.


"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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