[Ads-l] techlash

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 30 13:01:47 UTC 2019

Ben Zimmer also found "techlash" interesting, and he wrote a piece for
the Wall Street Journal at the beginning of this year.

Headline: ‘Techlash’: Whipping Up Criticism of the Top Tech Companies
Subheadline: The increasingly sharp rebukes of Facebook, Google and
others now have a term of their own
Author: Ben Zimmer
Timestamp: Jan. 10, 2019 1:51 pm ET

[Begin excerpt]
The Economist has been issuing dire admonitions about a backlash
against the tech elite ever since November 2013, when an editorial
warned of a "coming tech-lash." Oxford Dictionaries, which included
"techlash" on its own shortlist for 2018 words of the year, identified
that editorial as the first known use of the portmanteau term
combining "technology" and "backlash." Oxford noted that it initially
was hyphenated, "only later settling into its one-word state"--a
typical evolution for this kind of lexical blend.

The success of the blend relies on being able to identify the "-lash"
syllable as a shortened form of "backlash," defined as a strong
reaction by people against a trend or development. "Backlash" emerged
in the early 19th century as a mechanical term for a jerking motion
caused by loosely connected gears or other machine parts.
[End excerpt]

Below is an instance of "techlash" from 2000. (ProQuest only specifies
2000). The sense is a bit different, but the semantics overlap.

Year: 2000
Periodical: Advertising Age
Supplement: Interactive Future
Volume 71, Issue 16
Headline: Privacy's pariahs
Author: May Thornton
Publisher: Crain Communications, Chicago, Illinois
Database: ProQuest

[Begin excerpt]
President Clinton's lack of privacy cannot be blamed on a computer,
cannot be blamed on the Internet and most certainly cannot be laid at
the feet of the interactive marketing industry. At the root of the
issue is human behavior. The thinking reader should not be tempted
into techlash (dislike/distrust of all digital things).
[End excerpt]


On Sat, Nov 30, 2019 at 1:14 AM Mark Mandel <markamandel at gmail.com> wrote:
> Two sources here: first the context in which I saw it used, then a
> definition I found, including two quotations (I think they're separate, but
> the layout was ambiguous).
> ----------------
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/24/smarter-living/privacy-online-how-to-stop-advertiser-tracking-opt-out.html
> >>>>>
> Nov. 24, 2019, 2:42 p.m. ET
> Updated Nov. 29, 2019, 11:19 a.m. ET
> ...
> Bennett Cyphers, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier
> Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights organization that advocates for
> consumer online privacy.
> ...
> Sweeping changes, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act and Europe’s
> GDPR, have led the way in giving internet users new rights and protections,
> and Mr. Cyphers said that “popular awareness and the techlash has opened up
> room for real regulation.”
> <<<<<
> *["Cyphers": what an aptronym!--MAM]*
> ----------------
> https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/techlash
> >>>>>
> a strong reaction against the major technology companies, as a result of
> concerns about their power, users’ privacy,  the possibility of political
> manipulation etc
> *Let’s be careful about tales of techlash and how far we want to push the
> fear factor.*
> *It is in America that the techlash will seem most dramatic, a reversal of
> years in which Silicon Valley was a byword for brilliance and progress.*
> This meaning is based on one submitted to the Open Dictionary from United
> Kingdom on 20/02/2018
> <<<<<
> Mark Mandel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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