[Ads-l] Talent

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 27 12:43:28 UTC 2018

I might be splitting hairs but I've been wondering if the use of talent in
"on-air talent" has evolved/narrowed well beyond the OED Talent III.6.d.
definition and needs its own entry, something like "high-profile employees
or recruits (collectively or individually)". It's also always collective
and excludes administrative/executive. Certainly needs updated examples.

I'm looking at this piece https://goo.gl/tWCLgq and here are the relevant

"Guilfoyle called female on-air talent at Fox News in the summer of 2016
and asked them to make supportive statements about Ailes publicly, sources
said." (6.d.)

"Sources said 21st Century Fox prefers that problematic employees retire or
resign rather than be terminated ― the company has taken this approach with
Fox News talent and executives in the past, as well as with Guilfoyle, who
was not formally terminated. This method gives talent and executives a
quieter way to exit and the network avoids a contentious departure." (Not

I've heard similar use in tech start-ups HR context, so it's not limited to
broadcasting/entertainment industry.


OED entry
d. Talent as embodied in the talented; sometimes approaching or passing
into the sense: Persons of talent or ability collectively; as singular, a
person of talent. By the sporting press, applied to backers of horses, as
distinguished from the 'layers' or bookmakers, the implication being that
those whose investments make a horse a 'favourite' are supposed to be 'the
clever ones'.
(Administration of) All the Talents (English History), an ironical
appellation of the Ministry of Lord Grenville, 1806–7, implying that it
combined in its members all the talents.

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

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