[Ads-l] etymythological play

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Oct 26 14:02:43 EDT 2016

Coupla supporting comments for Arnold's side remarks (not nominations for the cool hand underlying "luke" came from, so not posted on the blog):

1) The suggestion that assessing something (or someone) as "lukewarm" is used for (complaining about) what aims to be warm/hot rather that aiming to be cool/cold is touched on in my '72 dissertation, where I cite data like 

lukewarm if not (downright) unsympathetic
*lukewarm if not (downright) friendly

Bill's greeting was too lukewarm
The water was too lukewarm          [both suggesting 'not warm/hot enough']

as "evidence for positioning lukewarm as a weak element on the scale of cool-cold rather than on that of warm-hot", although I also conceded that "there does exist a significant dialect in which 'too lukewarm' can also signify 'not cool enough', as in "The coffee is too lukewarm to drink."

2) I like "narratophilia" (sometimes, as with the faux acronyms of the "F.U.C.K." class, manifesting as *narratomania*) as a diagnosis for the syndrome in question. In my 2004 American Speech paper ("_Spitten image_: etymythology and fluid dynamics"), cited by Arnold in his earlier posts on this topic, I attributed the appeal of etymythology to the fact that "The human animal loves a good story and in particular cherishes a narrative embedding privileged knowledge".  Only now do I realize what a challenge that sentence is to parse; making it through the last four words just took me several tries.  Oh well, water over the bridge...


> On Oct 26, 2016, at 1:07 PM, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
> on my blog, with an invitation to play with the ideas -- but please post your proposals on my blog:
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__arnoldzwicky.org_2016_10_26_bring-2Dout-2Dyour-2Dlukewarm-2Detymythologies_&d=CwIFAg&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=wYihI-OcBheiji1dKvDl05Gd7RhpVT2PF4g3BhDX9fY&s=vbCbncWTu2SgQY6BnDxx5-3CWebcv_oYH1KcksCDgK0&e= 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=CwIFAg&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=wYihI-OcBheiji1dKvDl05Gd7RhpVT2PF4g3BhDX9fY&s=jouLuBY27aYktkaCPz5S-bK_MTVbehiesTF1S8ZfmCY&e= 

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

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