[Ads-l] Oxymoron seen: "official bootleg"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 3 13:34:32 UTC 2016

I don't know what it means in a comic book / manga context either, but I
wrote about some semantic shifts in the musical sense of "bootleg" in my
Wall St. Journal column a couple of years ago:

In the rock era, “bootlegs” have most often been recordings of live
performances that artists have not officially released. Some groups, like
the Grateful Dead, sanctioned the taping of live shows, leading to
oxymoronic “authorized bootlegs.” And now [Bob] Dylan’s “Bootleg Series”
further salvages this sketchy word, giving it a respectable sheen.

On Sun, Jul 3, 2016 at 8:26 AM, Dave Wilton <dave at wilton.net> wrote:

> "Official bootleg" is rather common in the music business, referring to an
> authorized recording of a live performance.
> It goes back to at least 1991 and "Paul McCartney Unplugged: The Official
> Bootleg," a recording of McCartney's MTV performance.
> The oxymoron is probably the result of a semantic shift from bootleg
> meaning "unofficial recording, often of a live performance" to "recording
> of a live performance."
> I have no clue what an official bootleg of a comic book is.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of Wilson Gray
> Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2016 2:03 AM
> Subject: [ADS-L] Oxymoron seen: "official bootleg"
> http://www.viz.com/bleach

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

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