[Ads-l] Nones (2005)

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 3 20:32:05 UTC 2020

One example from September 2003.

A widely published article used it in late-November 2003, the earliest 
on November 27 in Honolulu, many others on the 29th and the following 

A flurry of additional examples apparently spawned by that article 
shortly thereafter.

The earliest example, from a Texas newspaper, written by a local writer, 
quotes an associate professor of Sociology from Southern Oregon 
University named Mark Shibley.

Column: Faith at Work, Robin Galiano (rgaliano at longview-news.com), 
"Pioneer spirit affects religion in Pacific Northwest"

[Excerpt] Seattle is home to Zen Jews and Buddhist Christians.  There 
are post-denominational evangelicals.  And there are a lot of "nones," 
people who are unaffiliated with any tradition at all.

Yet most religious "nones" still have spiritual inclinations, said Mark 
Shibley, associate professor of sociology at Southern Oregon University.
[End Excerpt]

Longview News-Journal (Longview, Texas), September 13, 2003, page 25.

In the later, widely published article, Mark O'Keefe of the Newhouse 
News Services also quotes Shibley.

"'Nones' are fastest-growing religious group in America," by Mark 
O'Keefe, Newhouse News Service [(other examples of the same article use 
different titles)].

[Excerpt]Their numbers have more than doubled in a decade, to nearly 30 
million.  Organized as religious denomination, they would trail only 
Catholics and Baptists in members.

They are the "nones," named for their response to a question in public 
opinion polls: "What is your religion, if any?" . . .

Nones are especially prevalent in the Pacific Northwest, in Oregon and 
Washington . . . "If people are interested in hiking on Sunday morning 
rather than going to church, that's fine.  The culture won't say that's 
unacceptable.  In fact, the culture will say that's perfectly 
acceptable," said Mark Shibley, a sociologist at Southern Oregon 
University who has studied about nones.[End excerpt]

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 27, 2003, page E3.

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of 
dave at WILTON.NET <dave at WILTON.NET>
Sent: Monday, February 3, 2020 10:29:32 AM
Subject: Nones (2005)

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       dave at WILTON.NET
Subject:      Nones (2005)

I'm looking for early examples of "nones" or "none" used to refer to =
people with no formal religious affiliation/identity (includes atheists, 
agnostics, and "spiritual" people).

The earliest I've found is this from 2005:

Bibby, Reginald and Stuart MacDonald. =E2=80=9CRestless expert sees =
church growth.=E2=80=9D The Presbyterian Record, 129.4, Apr 2005, 46.

=E2=80=9CIndeed, if it was included in his list of major religious =
groups in Restless Churches (Table 2.7) the 'religious nones' would rank 
as the second largest denomination in Canada.=E2=80=9D

Bibby wrote a 2004 book "Restless Churches." I'll check that out of the 
library tomorrow to see if he uses it there. But I'm wondering if anyone 
has a line on earlier uses. "None" is a devilishly difficult word to =
search for.

--Dave Wilton

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

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

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