[Ads-l] _Narrative_

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 25 14:32:34 UTC 2015

I  tried to attach this to the main "narrative" thread, but the server
thinks we've discussed the issue at sufficient length already. Too bad for
the server.

Yesterday,  without the slightest prompting from me, a learned friend with
advanced degrees commented on his hatred for what he independently
perceived as the current usage of "the narrative."

Playing dumb for research purposes, I asked "What's 'the narrative'?"

"It's just something politicians like to say. In Watergate they used to
talk about 'the operative statement.' Now it's 'the narrative.'"

"So," I replied archly, "'the narrative' is 'the operative statement.' Or
is it the other way around?"

"'The narrative' means 'the story we're selling you now.'  It doesn't have
to be true, and no one has to believe it. It's just 'the story we're
selling you now.'"

I'd revise that to "the story 'they' are selling you now."


On Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 9:23 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: _Narrative_
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 4:20 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
> >
> > "are a sexy narrative" = 'make for a good story' ?
> "Hm. Nobody ever explained it to me that way, before!"
> I.e., "Now that you've pointed it out, it's obvious."
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
> to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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