name magic

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 6 02:28:44 UTC 2011

On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 11:47 AM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â name magic
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Wolf Blitzer on CNN was talking to a well-spoken and clearly sophisticated
> young woman who lost her husband in the 9/11 attack. Â She kept referring,
> sometimes confusingly, to "him" and "that person." It became clear that she
> meant Bin Laden. Â Blitzer asked very deferentially why she referred to Bin
> Laden that way (he went so far as to say that out of respect, he would not
> utter the name of "the individual responsible" either.
> She explained, essentially, that to utter the name would be "to give more
> power to evil." Apparently she has never uttered it.
> Some minutes later, Blitzer reported that there were a number of people at
> Ground Zero who wouldn't utter the name (which he said again, "out of
> respect," he wouldn't utter either).
> I suppose he'll resume uttering it shortly. However, I was impressed by the
> survival of the idea of name magic in downtown Manhattan.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

"Speak of the devil and he shall appear" lives. Like looking into a
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All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
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