Swapped "tease" and "spoil"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 20 22:12:14 UTC 2013

In the domain of music it seems that to tease a song means to play
part of the song but refrain from playing the full song. Fans of the
Grateful Dead and Phish use this expression.

Here are some raw matches from Usenet:

April Fool's Show Stories
rec.music.gdead  -  31 posts  -  25 authors  - Last post:  Mar 3, 1995
They teased the Dark Star but held off of playing it. The next day at
the April Fool's show, the 2nd set opened China-> Rider, LL Rain, and
then, again more Dark ...

Did Allman Bros. play St. Stephen?
rec.music.gdead  -  9 posts  -  8 authors  - Last post:  Mar 25, 1996
ON 3/9/96, they teased st. stephen for about 4 mins. during liz reed.
They teased it again during true gravity on 3/17/96. And on 3/3/96,
they teased the other one ...

Dark Star tease with drums/space?
rec.music.gdead  -  4 posts  -  4 authors  - Last post:  Mar 21, 1996
At the second show I went to, they teased the hell out of the Other
One. I was so bummed. I thought I would never hear it! Well, about 20
Other Ones later, I wish I ...


On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 3:04 PM, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at ameritech.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Neal Whitman <nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET>
> Subject:      Swapped "tease" and "spoil"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I've begun noticing  uses of transitive "tease" and "spoil" in
> entertainment contexts in which the patient is not the event participant
> I'm expecting. For example, Iexpect "tease" to have viewers, readers, or
> other consumers fill the patient role, with the movie, book, videogame,
> etc. as an oblique object, as in "They teased the audience with a scene
> from the upcoming release." However, you can find examples like these now:
>     _The Avengers_ was teased at the end of _Captain America_.
>     http://www.coronacomingattractions.com/news/exclusive-assembling-avengers-part-1
> Similarly, I expect the patient of "spoil" to be the themovie, book,
> video game, etc., and the consumer to be an oblique object: "You spoiled
> the ending for me!" But now you can find sentences like:
>     I personally can't stand spoilers. ... There are entire websites
>     that I have stopped visiting because they unexpectedly *spoiled* me
>     one too many times.
>     http://screenrant.com/spoilers-spoiler-brusimm-6207/
> My earliest datings for each use:
> tease, May 1995
>     "The Informer" *teased* the return of a "mystery man" absent from
>     the WWF for roughly a decade.... He also *teased* the appearance of
>     a "familiar face" who would be making his WWF debut.... (May 1995)
>     https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/rec.sport.pro-wrestling/cjQ-X3ivfdM
> spoil, April 1996
>     <https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#%21topic/rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5/uW3o_BOzYbM>Goodness
>     gracious.....this is one of best episodes I ever  seen. Even when I
>     *got spoiled*, I stilled loved it. Wow... (April 1996)**
>     https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!topic/rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5/uW3o_BOzYbM
>     <https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#%21topic/rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5/uW3o_BOzYbM>
> In addition, I found an antedating for advertising-related "teaser" (OED
> 1934):
>     Later, on November 17th, after much advertising of a "teaser" kind,
>     the Club was confronted with the whole Toledo Advertising Club as
>     our entertainer.
>     /The Rotarian, /January 1917, p. 80.
>     http://books.google.com/books?id=UlgEAAAAMBAJ
> I've written about this at Visual Thesaurus(by
> subscription):*//****//*http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/dictionary/teased-and-spoiled/
> Neal
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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