[Ads-l] retcon

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 13 16:41:01 EDT 2021


Serious historiography is constantly revising and discovering, but it isn't
"retconning" or practicing "revisionist history."

These terms don't just have negative connotations. They denote tendentious,
and even outright mendacious treatment of established facts.

Holocaust denial is "revisionist history."  Major Robert S. Burrell's
professional conclusion that the Battle of Iwo Jima was unnecessary, is
controversial and may even be wrong, but it isn't "revisionist" or
"retconning."

JL




On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 3:55 PM David Daniel <dad at coarsecourses.com> wrote:

> Ah, well then, not so odd indeed.
> DAD
>
> Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: retcon
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---
>
> Not so odd: This is part of M-W's "Words We're Watching" series,
> specifically for words not (yet) entered in their dictionaries.
>
> On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 2:42 PM David Daniel <dad at coarsecourses.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Merriam-Webster online has a whole article about retcon, though, oddly
> > enough given the article, the word is not in their dictionary.
> > https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/retcon-history-and-meani
> > ng
> > DAD
> >
> > Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: retcon
> >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > ------
> > ---
> >
> > The problem is that rec.arts.comics, like many other newsgroups, is
> > not comprehensively covered by the Google Groups archive before 1990.
> > That spottiness is borne out by the fact that the earliest cite for
> > "retcon" in OED3/HDSF (Aug. 15, 1989) is from rec.arts.sf-lovers and
> > not rec.arts.comics, where everyone says it originated. If we were
> > able to access another archive of rec.arts.comics posts from the late
> > '80s, I'm betting that Cugley's claim would be confirmed.
> >
> > More from Cugley here: https://alleged.org.uk/pdc/2012/12/03.html
> > He writes: "I would like to cite my original USENET postings, but
> > alas! I have not been able to roll back Google=E2=80=99s USENET
> > archives (now part = of Google groups) further back than 1990."
> >
> > While I'm griping about Google Groups... I can't even find that
> > 8/15/89 rec.arts.sf-lovers post in the current archive. Can anyone else
> get to it?
> >
> > 1989   Re: New Star Wars Film? in rec.arts.sf-lovers (Usenet newsgroup)
> 15
> > Aug.   Lucas retconned the opening credits after the release of TESB,
> once
> > it was clear that the films were doing well enough that the first set
> > would be completed.
> >
> > --bgz
> >
> > On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 9:21 AM Jesse Sheidlower <jester at panix.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > Cugley's 1988 use is a claim, not a citation; as Wikipedia points
> > > out, there's no solid evidence for it. In a (real) 1990 Usenet post
> > > Cugley claimed to be the originator. If anyone has the 1988 cite I'd
> > > love to see it!
> > >
> > > Jesse Sheidlower
> > >
> > > On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 05:09:02AM -0700, Nancy Friedman wrote:
> > > > I wrote about an earlier citation (1988) in a 2013 blog post:
> > > >
> > > https://nancyfriedman.typepad.com/away_with_words/2013/12/word-of-th
> > > e-
> > > wee=
> > k-retcon.html
> > > >
> > > > On Thu, May 13, 2021, 3:46 AM Jonathan Lighter
> > > > <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Charlie Sykes, MSNBC:
> > > > >
> > > > > "They're trying to find a way to rationalize [Jan. 6]: 'Well, it
> > > wasn't so
> > > > > bad.' This is called 'retconning' - you simply rewrite the
> > > > > history. Y=
> > ou
> > > > > pretend that what happened didn't happen, and you put your own
> > > > > spin o=
> > n
> > > it."
> > > > >
> > > > > OED: (1989):
> > > > >
> > > > > "To revise retrospectively (an aspect of a fictional work or
> > > > > series), typically by means of a revelation which imposes a
> > > > > different
> > > interpretation
> > > > > on previously described events."
> > > > >
> > > > > It ain't just for fiction any more. And you don't need a
> > > > > "revelation.=
> > "
> > > > >
> > > > > Just lie.
> > > > >
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

------------------------------------------------------------
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