name magic

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 6 12:00:57 UTC 2011

Margaret, she was unmistakably white, probably in her mid to late thirties.


On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 4:31 AM, Margaret Lee <mlee303 at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Margaret Lee <mlee303 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      Re: name magic
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I did not=A0 see the Wolf Blitzer segment. Was the young woman African
> Amer=
> ican or =0Aof African origin? Name magic=A0has a very significant history
> i=
> n the West African =0Aworld view, especially when it comes to naming
> childr=
> en, and=A0the idea=A0of causing =0Aharm to one by mentioning one's=A0real
> n=
> ame (as opposed to an alternate or =0Anickname, sometimes referred to as a
> =
> basket name).=0A=0A--Margaret=A0
> Lee=A0=A0=0A=A0=0A=0A=0A=0A=0A____________=
> ____________________=0AFrom: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
> >=0ATo=
> : ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU=0ASent: Thu, May 5, 2011 11:47:56 AM=0ASubject:
> na=
> me magic=0A=0AWolf Blitzer on CNN was talking to a well-spoken and clearly
> =
> sophisticated=0Ayoung woman who lost her husband in the 9/11 attack.=A0
> She=
>  kept referring,=0Asometimes confusingly, to "him" and "that person." It
> be=
> came clear that she=0Ameant Bin Laden.=A0 Blitzer asked very deferentially
> =
> why she referred to Bin=0ALaden that way (he went so far as to say that
> out=
>  of respect, he would not=0Autter the name of "the individual responsible"
> =
> either.=0A=0AShe explained, essentially, that to utter the name would be
> "t=
> o give more=0Apower to evil." Apparently she has never uttered
> it.=0A=0ASom=
> e minutes later, Blitzer reported that there were a number of people
> at=0AG=
> round Zero who wouldn't utter the name (which he said again, "out
> of=0Aresp=
> ect," he wouldn't utter either).=0A=0AI suppose he'll resume uttering it
> sh=
> ortly. However, I was impressed by the=0Asurvival of the idea of name
> magic=
>  in downtown Manhattan.=0A=0AJL=0A=0A--=0A"If the truth is half as bad as
> I=
>  think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."=0A=0A---------------------------=
> ---------------------------------=0AThe American Dialect Society -
> http://w=
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

"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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