Euphemisms often evolve over time into taboo words themselves, through a process described by W.V.O. Quine, and more recently dubbed the "euphemism treadmill" by Steven Pinker. (cf. Gresham’s Law in economics). This is the well-known linguistic process known as ‘pejoration’ or ‘semantic change’.
The just-world phenomenon, also called the just-world theory, just-world fallacy, just-world effect, or just-world hypothesis, refers to the tendency for people to want to believe that the world is just so strongly that when they witness an otherwise inexplicable injustice they will rationalize it by searching for things that the victim might have done to deserve it. This deflects their anxiety, and lets them continue to believe the world is a just place, but often at the expense of blaming victims for things that were not, objectively, their fault.
Another theory entails the need to protect one’s own sense of invulnerability. This inspires people to believe that rape, for example, only happens to those who deserve or provoke the assault. This is a way of feeling safer. If the potential victim avoids the behaviors of the past victims then they themselves will remain safe and feel less vulnerable. (Wikipedia)
The Pilbaraathe word is Aboriginal for mullet, a type of fish running in the mountain creeksais both the end of the earth and the wellspring of Australia’s future. The desolate region was home to indigenous people for millennia, then to the stockmen and adventurers who populate fantasies of the outback. [LINK]
This is the feeling of uncomfortable tension which comes from holding two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time.
Dissonance increases with:
-The importance of the subject to us.
-How strongly the dissonant thoughts conflict
-Our inability to rationalize and explain away the conflict
Something a little different for this week’s feature of AWho got that Vocab?! - from Norman Schur’s list of the 1,000 "most important" words.
#795 : quixotic -Afoolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals;Aespecially : marked by rash lofty romantic ideas or extravagantly chivalrous action
Who’s Got that Vocab?!?!A myninjaplease does!A We’re bringing this feature back to educate la gente.
Therianthropy refers to the metamorphosisA of humansA into other animals.A from n. therianthrope and adj. therianthropic, part man and part beast, from the Greek therion, IIIII, meaning "wild animal" or "beast" (impliedly mammalian), and anthrpos, IIII, meaning "human being") Therianthropes have long existed in mythology, appearing in ancient cave drawings such as the Sorcerer at Les Trois Freres.
Although many people believe that Samuel Johnson said "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," he shouldn’t get credit for this one.
Johnson said something close, but he was following in others’ footsteps. In Boswell’s Life of Johnson, in an entry marked April 14, 1775, Boswell quotes Johnson as saying (on some other occasion), "Hell is paved with good intentions." Note, no prefatory "the road to…" Boswell’s editor, Malone, added a footnote indicating this is a ‘proverbial sentence,’ and quoting an earlier 1651 source (yet still not in the common wording). Samuel Johnson SoundByte Page
Language Log calls the above "an ursine crash blossom." I read the crash blossom description, and I submit that most of the instances I’ve seen since the coining of this ursine term have been way worse than the original. The original should have been understood in context [ that’s what the editor was thinking -Ed.]. That said, they’d have a field day with our archives.
It’s a fun place to spend some time.
1. stupefying; producing stupor.
2. a drug or agent that produces stupor.
…and… as always, in a sentence:
Yo, son, I spent all day up on yo’ ninja website, as it were, drowning in a stupefacient pool, making me a worser person.A It was all, like, death by mediocrity.
Somehow, Prince Harry (above) escaped our wrath, although we should really get at him, royally.