HD: 1979 Words
Posted: 03 June 2012 03:27 AM   [ Ignore ]
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CDs, fluffers, and karaoke

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Posted: 03 June 2012 04:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Did email really start off unhyphenated?

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Posted: 03 June 2012 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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No. I generally keep to the form used as the OED headword unless actually quoting a citation. Often there are so many early spelling variants of terms that this is the only sensible thing to do.

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Posted: 03 June 2012 06:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I seem to recall that the preferred pronunciation when Philips introduced the CD was cƏm-pact disc, with the first word pronounced as in the verb to compact. That lasted all of a few months, if that long.

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Posted: 03 June 2012 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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neo-con, adj. and n. Neo-cons wouldn’t become famous until the presidency of George W. Bush, the clipping of neoconservative goes back to 1979.

I’m surprised to hear you say this; my own memory is that “neo-con” was a very frequent term in the ‘80s.  But I’ve long since learned not to trust my own memory.

I seem to recall that the preferred pronunciation when Philips introduced the CD was cƏm-pact disc, with the first word pronounced as in the verb to compact. That lasted all of a few months, if that long.

Must have been a UK thing; I knew some techie types back in the day and heard about CDs as they were being put on the market, and never heard such a pronunciation.

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Posted: 03 June 2012 08:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I’m surprised to hear you say this; my own memory is that “neo-con” was a very frequent term in the ‘80s.  But I’ve long since learned not to trust my own memory.

It may be my memory is at fault. I wasn’t aware of the term until 90s and didn’t start hearing it frequently until after the turn of the century and the Bush-43 presidency. But neoconservatives in their current incarnation certainly go back to the 50s and 60s.

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Posted: 03 June 2012 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Most of those Bush neocons had been Reagan neocons, and were talked about as such.  (As I remember; you can check newspaper archives to verify.)

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Posted: 04 June 2012 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I, too, thought I recalled “neocon” from the Reagan years and I came up with two cites from 1989.  One from the July 1989 Spy magazine, which I searched on hunch on Google Books, and the other from a Murray Rothbard anti-Reagan screed on LewRockwell.com that was originally published in March 1989.  Rothbard first uses the full “neoconservative” and puts “neocon” in parentheses right after it, presumably because he didn’t expect his audience to know it.  Spy uses “neocons” by itself, apparently assuming its audience would know it already.

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Posted: 04 June 2012 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Snopes.com has an excellent article on the so-called “Twinkie defense”. 

http://www.snopes.com/legal/twinkie.asp

The defendant in that case did not blame his murderous rampage on a sugar rush from eating twinkies.  The idea that he did is an urban legend.  However, the idea that he did use such a defense is undoubtedly the underlying metaphor in he expression Twinkie defense, which is used as a metaphor for virtually any implausible or strained legal excuse for conduct (as a metaphor, it is perhaps ironic that the defense in this case was successful).  So this isn’t an example of folk etymology, but it is nonetheless folklore.

To briefly summarize, the defendant in the Milk case alleged that he was temporarily insane.  He presented evidence that he suffered from severe depression as a result of his termination.  His psychologist testified that a common symptom of depression is indulging in high fat and high sugar foods, and noted that the defendant had started eating such snacks.  But this was not the heart of his case, and was only one piece of info that his expert relied on in support of the diagnosis of depression (the fact that he was depressed, in fact, is pretty well supported).  It was only given much importance after the fact, by revisionist historians seeking to decry a verdict that seemed (and probably is) unfair.

Having said that, the Milk case seems like a rather grotesque injustice.  Mental illness is not the same as “insanity” (the test for legal insanity is a segue I’ll avoid).  The defendant committed a highly planned murder, which seems inconsistent, to put it mildly, with a claim of insanity, temporary or otherwise. In any event, the role played by the twinkies is not what makes this case an injustice or an absurdity.

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Posted: 04 June 2012 05:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Dan White’s defense was “diminished capacity” as I understand it. The defense has subsequently been abolished in California because of the Moscone/Milk homicides (or murders if you will). I guess it’s akin to temporary insanity, but with insanity in its various forms the defendant is found not guilty and is committed to a mental institution. Diminished capacity removes some of the elements of murder but still leaves the defendant guilty of something, typically manslaughter. AFAIK

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