[Ads-l] antedating mundane

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue May 19 20:50:17 UTC 2020

Harry Potter aficionados will recognize the mu- prefix in “mundane" that also appears in “muggle".  

> On May 19, 2020, at 1:45 PM, Bill Mullins <amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> It's a judgement call, but I was influenced by the sentence immediately following, "I prefer the weird yarn  . . . ", which caused me to think in this case "mundane" was specifically (as I said below) "that which is not weird".  YMMV . . . . .
>> I would probably read that as the standard "ordinary, everyday" meaning of "mundane" -- the author is
>> contrasting the weird/fantastic elements of the stories, which Lovecraft is most known for, with the
>> realistic aspects of the stories, which are not given as much notice.
>>> The OED SF Project has 1950 for the genre sense of "mundane" (adj.) (the OED has 1955).
>>> _The Acolyte_ Summer 1944 p.14
>>> https://archive.org/details/TheAcolyte07V02n031944Summer/page/n17/mode/1up/
>>> "And on top of it all, [H. P. Lovecraft] did create remarkably faithful and sound mundane backgrounds and personalities."
>>> (Typically, "mundane" would be "that which is not SF"; here it is "that which is not weird".)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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