[Ads-l] retcon

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 14 10:28:33 EDT 2021


I still don't understand the meaning of "retcon" when talking about real
events (unlike fiction, where discontinuity is always possible).

On Fri, May 14, 2021, 9:08 AM dave at wilton.net <dave at wilton.net> wrote:

>
> I said "revisionist" carried a negative connotation. But I have seen
> people address the product of mainstream, professional historiarns as
> "revisionist." (The first time I encountered the term "revisionist" was in
> a critique of Charles Beard's work.)
>
> Whether or not something is "revisionist" (or "retconned") is in the mind
> of the speaker, not something inherent in the worth of the history itself.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Jonathan Lighter" <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2021 4:41pm
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] retcon
>
>
>
> 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."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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