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Posted: 14 July 2012 05:19 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Propecia, roofies, and sildenafil

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Posted: 14 July 2012 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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chicken-pox party, n. This one ranks pretty high in the scale of really bad ideas. A chicken-pox party is one where healthy children are deliberately brought into contact with children already infected with chicken pox so that they may contract the disease at a time that’s convenient for the parents.

(my italics)

A bit unfair to parents, I think.  Most of us have known cases of adults who’ve died of diseases (mumps, measles) which most kids take in their stride. Personally, I feel relief about all the diseases I had in childhood, and uneasy about the ones I didn’t. And if I were a woman looking forward to motherhood, I’d very much prefer to have already had German measles. I do agree, though, that actually making a party for catching chicken-pox sounds a wee bit over the top. If any kid of mine had ever been invited to such a party, I’d have been tempted to call it “The Masque of the Red Death” ;-)

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Posted: 14 July 2012 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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E-ticket

This one made me smile.

I grew up living just a few miles from Disneyland and it was a place we visited often. Back in those days, the various attractions and rides each collected tickets and those tickets were of differing costs. The tickets were sold in combination books with low cost “A” tickets up to the highest cost “E” tickets. Naturally, all the most thrilling rides required an “E” ticket.

And so, in the slang of my youth, an “E-ticket” was anything especially cool or thrilling.

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Posted: 14 July 2012 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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A few comments/nitpicks:

O. J. Simpson was acquitted of murder charges

True enough, but there’s a bit more to the story than that.  I certainly don’t recommend jumping on the “his acquittal was the death of Western Civilization” bandwagon, but it might be worth mentioning, at least briefly, the fact that the trial (and acquittal) was a media circus, and that the outcome of the case was culturally divisive.

new media, n. Among the New Words has this term from 1995, but the OED records new media from way back in 1960.

I’m guessing that “new media” meant something quite different in 1960 than in 1995. This seems more like an evolution of the term than an antedating.

sildenafil, n. Yet another drug that panders to baser instincts of men hit the market in 1995. Sildenafil is better known by its brand name, Viagra, a name which appears in 1996.

I’m inferring that the “yet another” is a reference to roofies, the date-rape drug.  I’m not sure that its fair to lump Viagra in with roofies.  And I’m not sure there’s anything particularly “base” about a man with erectile dysfunction using medication that allows him to resume having a sex life (many men, presumably, use it so they can make love to their wives, which I don’t see as “base"). There are, of course, news reports of men who do not have ED and who used/use Viagra to “improve” their erections, which would be an indulgence in a baser instinct (and also an indulgence in stupidity, not that the two are mutually exclusive), but that’s a fairly specific subcategory of user.

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Posted: 14 July 2012 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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it might be worth mentioning, at least briefly, the fact that the trial (and acquittal) was a media circus, and that the outcome of the case was culturally divisive.

Nah, Dave has mentioned he’s keeping the intro very short, just a quick reminder of the main events of the year.  Trust me, anyone who’s heard of the Simpson trial is very aware of the circus aspect and doesn’t need reminding.

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Posted: 15 July 2012 03:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The “yet another” is also a reference to Propecia. 1995 was certainly the year for drugs supporting the patriarchy.

And from the citations, new media doesn’t seem to have changed much. My first thought was that it would have been a very different sense in 1960, but evidently not. The exact technologies have evidently changed--I’m sure in 1960 they were talking about television and satellite communications--but the basic sense hasn’t. Here’s the quote from 1960:

1960 Jrnl. Econ. Hist. 20 567 The decision maker who must deal with globally gathered information, moved at electronic speeds, is impelled to acquire a more interrelated and overall type of knowledge concerning the operations in which he is involved. The new media, in management that is to say, have been directly responsible for the rise of management training centers.

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