[Ads-l] famous or infamous?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jun 10 17:59:07 UTC 2020

On Jun 10, 2020, at 1:44 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>

Paradigm case.

Yahoo News:

"Fort Lee is named for Gen. Robert E. Lee, the infamous Confederate

It would have been easier (and less condescending to everybody) just to
leave out the value judgment (if that's what is).


It also would have been easier and less condescending if they’d realized
Fort Lee is actually named for General Charles Lee, who served under
Washington.  I remembered that from one of those McCullogh books about the
Revolutionary War, and wikipedia confirms.  Now Charles Lee himself was
both famous and infamous (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lee_(general)), court-martial and
all, but for insubordination and other alleged offenses, not including
being a Confederate commander. That would have been no mean feat, since he
was dead by the end of 1782.


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

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