[Ads-l] granfalloon update

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 10 14:05:08 UTC 2023

Some years ago, Fred noted with disappointment the absence from the OED of
Kurt Vonnegut's term "granfalloon" from _Cat's Cradle_ (1963). Nor is it in
online M-W, Collins, etc.

A search turns up 19,000 raw Googlits. Even more impressive:

1991 Anthony R. Pratkanis & Elliott Aronson _Age of Propaganda_ (N.Y.: W.
H. Freeman) 168: To use a term coined by the American novelist Kurt
Vonnegut, [social psychologist Henri] Tajfel and his colleagues are
creating _granfalloons_ - proud and meaningless associations of human
beings. ...What makes the granfalloon tick?...Similarity among members of
the granfalloon are emphasized in the descure knowledge that "this is what
our type does."

 Pratkanis & Aronson go on to use the term technically and repeatedly.

It's also gotten the Wikipedia treatment:


"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

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