Google Groups no longer supports new Usenet posts or subscriptions. Historical content remains viewable.
Dismiss

Is there a formal term for this?

5 views
Skip to first unread message

James Nicoll

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 12:29:00 PM6/5/03
to
Setting: AD 4000

Historical references: almost all from between about 1848
and 2000 and none from between 2000 and perhaps 3950?

The Miss Marple Effect, where everything ends up being just
like St. Mary Mead?

James Nicoll


--
"About this time, I started getting depressed. Probably the late
hour and the silence. I decided to put on some music.
Boy, that Billie Holiday can sing."
_Why I Hate Saturn_, Kyle Baker

Mike Schilling

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 1:37:36 PM6/5/03
to

"James Nicoll" <jdni...@panix.com> wrote in message
news:bbnr4c$95e$1...@panix1.panix.com...

> Setting: AD 4000
>
> Historical references: almost all from between about 1848
> and 2000 and none from between 2000 and perhaps 3950?
>
> The Miss Marple Effect, where everything ends up being just
> like St. Mary Mead?

Similar effect: AHs where the characters discuss one and only one AH: our
timeline:

"Imagine, for instance, what the world be like if George Washington hadn't
died of plague in the 1779 epidemic. He might have rallied the rebels to a
victory, leading to independence for the colonies and revolution on the
continent of Europe."


Ross TenEyck

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 1:42:31 PM6/5/03
to
jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) writes:

> Setting: AD 4000

> Historical references: almost all from between about 1848
>and 2000 and none from between 2000 and perhaps 3950?

> The Miss Marple Effect, where everything ends up being just
>like St. Mary Mead?

I've seen a variant termed the Star Trek Effect... any list
of historical figures or references will contain three items;
two 20th-century or before, and one later.

--
================== http://www.alumni.caltech.edu/~teneyck ==================
Ross TenEyck Seattle, WA \ Light, kindled in the furnace of hydrogen;
ten...@alumni.caltech.edu \ like smoke, sunlight carries the hot-metal
Are wa yume? Soretomo maboroshi? \ tang of Creation's forge.

Terry Lago

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 12:57:35 PM6/5/03
to

James Nicoll wrote:

> Setting: AD 4000
>
> Historical references: almost all from between about 1848
> and 2000 and none from between 2000 and perhaps 3950?
>
> The Miss Marple Effect, where everything ends up being just
> like St. Mary Mead?
>
> James Nicoll
>

Sloppy writing? :)

T.

Mark Hanson

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 2:12:14 PM6/5/03
to
"Mike Schilling" <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:AdLDa.1435$MQ2...@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com...

> Similar effect: AHs where the characters discuss one and only one AH: our
> timeline:
>
> "Imagine, for instance, what the world be like if George Washington hadn't
> died of plague in the 1779 epidemic. He might have rallied the rebels to
a
> victory, leading to independence for the colonies and revolution on the
> continent of Europe."

Isn't that the "Herry Turtledove" effect?

Mark


Dan Goodman

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 2:21:47 PM6/5/03
to
"Mark Hanson" <mark.h...@attbi.com> wrote in
news:2KLDa.1123355$F1.134593@sccrnsc04:

On soc.history.what-if, it's called "double blind".

--
Dan Goodman dsg...@visi.com
Journal: http://dsgood.blogspot.com

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 2:18:06 PM6/5/03
to
In article <2KLDa.1123355$F1.134593@sccrnsc04>,

You can call it that, but it didn't originate with Turtledove.
See e.g. "If Lee Had Lost at Gettysburg," by Winston Churchill.

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com
http://www.kithrup.com/~djheydt

Mike Schilling

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 2:32:28 PM6/5/03
to
Another one: what do you call it where the characters in a series know far
more about previous events in the series than makes sense. The best (worst)
example that comes to mind is from _Time Enough for Love_:

Lazarus: Once I went to see a man who claimed to be able to measure how
long you'd live.
Ishtar (or Hamadryad, or one of the others. Doesn't matter): Pinero the
charlatan?

Yup, Pinero would still be famous thousands of years later. Of course.


James Nicoll

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 2:36:57 PM6/5/03
to
In article <Xns939187F7BC2...@209.98.13.60>,
They pick an unlikely AH if they talk about our world. The
Spanish colonies are still fairly likely to split away and still
pretty likely to end up as dictatorships or rolling civil war zones
so why would anyone from a British Empire Forever timeline expect the
colonies of British North America to do any better at self-rule,
particularly as republics, a notoriously unstable form of government?
Double particularly if the slavocracies of the south are tied to the
industrious colonies of the North. That's just building a flash point
in.

A BEF AH writer might write about a republican North America
but it would probably look more like Jeremy Bentham's version of the
Draka than our world.

lal_truckee

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 3:05:24 PM6/5/03
to

Depends: c.f. ponzi, quisling, boycott

Errol Cavit

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 2:50:36 PM6/5/03
to
"Dan Goodman" <dsg...@visi.com> wrote in message
news:Xns939187F7BC2...@209.98.13.60...


No. Some DBWIs include this kind of discussion, but characters talking about
OTL as an AH isn't what defines a DBWI.

--
Errol Cavit
to email, my middle initial is G | "...one of the reasons that New Zealand
Settlers did not treat the Maoris as their Australian counterparts did the
Aborigines was that, when they did, they got killed. James Belich, Historian


Dan Goodman

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 2:58:54 PM6/5/03
to
lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:bbo3cq$bd9fn$1...@ID-90251.news.dfncis.de:

Their names live on -- but how many people know anything about _them_?

Dan Goodman

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 3:00:10 PM6/5/03
to
jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) wrote in news:bbo2k9$hir$1
@panix2.panix.com:

> In article <Xns939187F7BC2...@209.98.13.60>,
> Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com> wrote:
>>"Mark Hanson" <mark.h...@attbi.com> wrote in
>>news:2KLDa.1123355$F1.134593@sccrnsc04:
>>
>>> "Mike Schilling" <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>>> news:AdLDa.1435$MQ2...@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com...
>>>> Similar effect: AHs where the characters discuss one and only one
AH:
>>>> our timeline:
>>>>
>>>> "Imagine, for instance, what the world be like if George Washington
>>>> hadn't died of plague in the 1779 epidemic. He might have rallied
>>>> the rebels to
>>> a
>>>> victory, leading to independence for the colonies and revolution on
>>>> the continent of Europe."
>>>
>>> Isn't that the "Herry Turtledove" effect?
>>
>>On soc.history.what-if, it's called "double blind".
>
> They pick an unlikely AH if they talk about our world.

And usually, they don't say it's a likely one.

> The
> Spanish colonies are still fairly likely to split away and still
> pretty likely to end up as dictatorships or rolling civil war zones
> so why would anyone from a British Empire Forever timeline expect the
> colonies of British North America to do any better at self-rule,
> particularly as republics, a notoriously unstable form of government?
> Double particularly if the slavocracies of the south are tied to the
> industrious colonies of the North. That's just building a flash point
> in.
>
> A BEF AH writer might write about a republican North America
> but it would probably look more like Jeremy Bentham's version of the
> Draka than our world.
>
> James Nicoll

--

Mike Schilling

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 3:03:17 PM6/5/03
to

"Dan Goodman" <dsg...@visi.com> wrote in message
news:Xns93918E4268D...@209.98.13.60...

More about Quisling than the others, both because he was the most recent and
because he affected an entire country. Given how little Pinero changed and
how many thousands of years had elapsed, I'm quite dubious his name would
live on.


Sean O'Hara

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 3:55:51 PM6/5/03
to
In the Year of the Goat, the Great and Powerful James Nicoll declared...

> Setting: AD 4000
>
> Historical references: almost all from between about 1848
> and 2000 and none from between 2000 and perhaps 3950?
>
> The Miss Marple Effect, where everything ends up being just
> like St. Mary Mead?
>
Perhaps it's related to the Star Trek Effect where no art created
after 1900 has survived to the future?

--
Sean O'Hara
Alex: A dwarf is someone who has disproportionately short
arms and legs. ... A midget is still a dwarf but their
arms and legs are in proportion.
Gareth: So... what’s an elf? --The Office

Robert Carnegie

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 3:10:09 PM6/5/03
to
In article <AdLDa.1435$MQ2...@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com
>, Mike Schilling <mscotts...@hotmail.com> writes

>
>"James Nicoll" <jdni...@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:bbnr4c$95e$1...@panix1.panix.com...
>> Setting: AD 4000
>>
>> Historical references: almost all from between about 1848
>> and 2000 and none from between 2000 and perhaps 3950?
>>
>> The Miss Marple Effect, where everything ends up being just
>> like St. Mary Mead?
>
>Similar effect: AHs [Alternate History] where the characters

>discuss one and only one AH: our timeline:
>
>"Imagine, for instance, what the world be like if George
>Washington hadn't died of plague in the 1779 epidemic.
>He might have rallied the rebels to a victory, leading to
>independence for the colonies and revolution on the
>continent of Europe."

Deliberately bad example? ;-)

One wonders why anyone in an AH story should have a
particularly keen interest in AH, more so than ordinary folks in
OTL. Do you suppose that AHers are subconsciously aware
that they're living in AH?

At any rate, if we were privy to their speculation about AH in the
/opposite/ direction to us-wards ("I believe that if mighty Alexander
had not conquered Carthage, the Carthaginians would instead
have built an empire across all Europe"), it'd be hopelessly
confusing.

Robert Carnegie at home, rja.ca...@excite.com at large
--
"AUTO SPARES (ROYSTON) would like to give our hearty
congratulation to Geoffrey Reid, on cocking up fifty years
with the company." - Royston Crow

Mike Van Pelt

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 5:21:22 PM6/5/03
to
In article <MPG.19496a55f...@news.cis.dfn.de>,

Sean O'Hara <darkerthenightth...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
>Perhaps it's related to the Star Trek Effect where no art created
>after 1900 has survived to the future?

Except for that one poem written by some poet in the Alpha
Centauri colony around 2130something that James Tomcat Kirk
quoted to Edith Keeler...

--
The only meaningful memorial, the only one that will really count, will be when there are streets, tunnels, living and working quarters named after each of those astronauts--and those who will yet die in this effort--in permanently occupied stations on the moon, on Mars, in the asteroid belt, and beyond.
-- Bruce F. Webster

Craig Richardson

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 5:12:28 PM6/5/03
to

IRL Ishtar would say something more along the lines of "Yeah, we still
get pineros like that showing up. Usually we beat them with sticks."

--Craig


--
Managing the Devil Rays is something like competing on "Iron Chef",
and having Chairman Kaga reveal a huge ziggurat of lint.
Gary Huckabay, Baseball Prospectus Online, August 21, 2002

Mike Schilling

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 5:50:29 PM6/5/03
to

"Robert Carnegie" <rja.ca...@excite.com> wrote in message
news:yS2XoGAR...@redjac.demon.co.uk...
> In article <AdLDa.1435$MQ2...@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com

> One wonders why anyone in an AH story should have a
> particularly keen interest in AH, more so than ordinary folks in
> OTL. Do you suppose that AHers are subconsciously aware
> that they're living in AH?

Not only that, but they seem to be aware *exactly* where they diverged from
the "real" world.


Mark Atwood

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 6:08:41 PM6/5/03
to
m...@web1.calweb.com (Mike Van Pelt) writes:
> In article <MPG.19496a55f...@news.cis.dfn.de>,
> Sean O'Hara <darkerthenightth...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> >Perhaps it's related to the Star Trek Effect where no art created
> >after 1900 has survived to the future?
>
> Except for that one poem written by some poet in the Alpha
> Centauri colony around 2130something that James Tomcat Kirk
> quoted to Edith Keeler...

There was a whole bunch of "future cultural knowledge" in Spock's IQ
test at the beginning of "Star Trek III: The Voyage Home".

The only one I remember off the top of my head was

Test: What was the axiom of the philosophical treatise by $MUMBLE?
Spock: Nothing unreal exists.
Test: Correct.

Which actually does sound like it really could be used as a
philosophical axiom, actually...


--
Mark Atwood | When you do things right,
m...@pobox.com | people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
http://www.pobox.com/~mra

Michael Grosberg

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 6:47:57 PM6/5/03
to
jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) wrote in news:bbnr4c$95e$1
@panix1.panix.com:

> Setting: AD 4000
>
> Historical references: almost all from between about 1848
> and 2000 and none from between 2000 and perhaps 3950?
>

make it the year 20,000 and you could call it "the Belarus Effect".


--
--------------------------------------------------
Michael Grosberg
Mail: preacher_public "at" hotmail.
--------------------------------------------------
"I know I believe in nothing but it is my nothing"
- The Manic Street Preachers

Peter Meilinger

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 7:58:47 PM6/5/03
to
Mark Atwood <m...@pobox.com> wrote:

>The only one I remember off the top of my head was

> Test: What was the axiom of the philosophical treatise by $MUMBLE?
> Spock: Nothing unreal exists.
> Test: Correct.

>Which actually does sound like it really could be used as a
>philosophical axiom, actually...

Way too concrete, although it might work for Vulcan philosophy.
I would've expected "Nothing real exists."

Pete

Mike Schilling

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 8:03:35 PM6/5/03
to

"Peter Meilinger" <mell...@bu.edu> wrote in message
news:bbolfm$58i$1...@news3.bu.edu...

Is knowledge unknowable and, if so, how do we know this?


how...@brazee.net

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 9:30:03 PM6/5/03
to
Other media are worse. Once we found out about the history between Star
Trek and us, their references to our times are way excessive.

Johnny1A

unread,
Jun 5, 2003, 10:17:27 PM6/5/03
to
"Mike Schilling" <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<%0MDa.1443$E63....@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com>...

>
> Yup, Pinero would still be famous thousands of years later. Of course.

Bad example of a legitimate problem, actually. The line you're
talking about is in _Methuselah's Children_, and it's only been maybe
150-200 years since Pinero lived, if that long. LL is talking to
Elder Mary Sperling, who's quite a bit younger than he is, but still
one of the older Howard People. LL actually _met_ Pinero, and in fact
given what Pinero was able to do (and he advertised!) it's quite
reasonable that a young LL would seek him out.

As for Sperling, she might have been born after Pinero, or she might
have been a child at the time, but it's quite reasonable that she
would recall the fuss over him (he was world-famous for a little
while), either first-hand or hearing her parents and other adults
discussing him.

For a better example of this problem, in _The Gripping Hand_, N&P
sloppily have a character make a reference to Ronald Reagan and a bit
later to 'FDA-era' medicine. But this is 1000+ years in the future,
and it just doesn't make sense that they'd be speaking colloquially
that way. People in that time might or might not have _heard_ of
Reagan, the way someone in 2003 might have heard of Edward the
Confessor or Canute, but only a professional historian specializing in
CoDominium times or a geekish amateur student of history is likely to
even know what the 'FDA' was.

Of course, that's double-sloppy, since in MIGE timeline, there should
not even have _been_ a President Reagan. Maybe a Governer Reagan, but
not a President Reagan. None of our OTL presidents should have been
there, past maybe Gerald Ford, the CoDominium would have changed
politics too thoroughly.

(They tried to retcon it, to accomodate actual OTL events, but it just
makes a mess of the timeline. A peril of setting SF stories in the
too-near future.)

Shermanlee

Dave Goldman

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 2:09:31 AM6/6/03
to
In article <m3llwgd...@khem.blackfedora.com>, Mark Atwood
<m...@pobox.com> wrote:

> There was a whole bunch of "future cultural knowledge" in Spock's IQ
> test at the beginning of "Star Trek III: The Voyage Home".
>
> The only one I remember off the top of my head was
>
> Test: What was the axiom of the philosophical treatise by $MUMBLE?
> Spock: Nothing unreal exists.
> Test: Correct.

Ah, but $MUMBLE was a Vulcan philospher who lived during Earth's 19th Century...

- Dave Goldman
Portland, OR

Mike Schilling

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 2:13:53 AM6/6/03
to

"Johnny1A" <sherm...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b3030854.03060...@posting.google.com...

> "Mike Schilling" <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:<%0MDa.1443$E63....@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com>...
>
> >
> > Yup, Pinero would still be famous thousands of years later. Of course.
>
> Bad example of a legitimate problem, actually. The line you're
> talking about is in _Methuselah's Children_, and it's only been maybe
> 150-200 years since Pinero lived, if that long.

Are you sure? If so, never mind. A much shorter period of time, and Pinero
would have been of particular interest to Howards.


lal_truckee

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 11:51:19 AM6/6/03
to
Johnny1A wrote:
> there should
> not even have _been_ a President Reagan. Maybe a Governer Reagan, but
> not a President Reagan.

I STILL don't believe it ...

Scott Robinson

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 11:39:40 AM6/6/03
to

If knowledge can be defined to include simple facts, yes.
Godel proved it. Of course, this requires a definition of "knowing"
that requires a level of certainty impossible for any science, so even
Vulcans wouldn't use it.

Facts have a remarkable ability to destroy large sections of
philosophy (take a gander at what neurological studies have done).
Pity philosophers rarely rebuild philosophy stronger the way
scientists do with science.

Scott

Michael Stemper

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 1:24:58 PM6/6/03
to
In article <bbo3cq$bd9fn$1...@ID-90251.news.dfncis.de>, lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> writes:
>Mike Schilling wrote:

>> Yup, Pinero would still be famous thousands of years later. Of course.
>
>Depends: c.f. ponzi, quisling, boycott

"Quisling" goes back to WWII, or about 60 years. "Ponzi", unless I miss
my guess, goes back to the Roaring Twenties, or about 80 years. Merriam-
Webster says that "boycott" goes back to 1880, or about 120 years. None
of these are particularly supportive of a person being remembered for
millenia. I'd bet that most English-speakers today aren't aware that
these words refer to real people. In fact, I didn't know that about
"boycott".

--
Michael F. Stemper
#include <Standard_Disclaimer>
Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana.

lal_truckee

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 1:48:56 PM6/6/03
to
Michael Stemper wrote:
> I'd bet that most English-speakers today aren't aware that
> these words refer to real people. In fact, I didn't know that about
> "boycott".

Just to demonstrate, this English-speaker forgot that I should have
included "lynch."

I think such words last longer if there's a real need uncovered by other
words; contrast "lynch" and "boycott" with "ponzi" and "quisling."

Although I think "ponzi" might have legs, if people finally realized the
Stock Markets are nothing but classic ponzi schemes. Hint: Tulips makes
the leap easier.

Dan Goodman

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 2:02:24 PM6/6/03
to
lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> wrote in news:bbqjb7$cb2rt$1@ID-
90251.news.dfncis.de:

> Just to demonstrate, this English-speaker forgot that I should have
> included "lynch."

Not so. The derivation from the name of a person is dubious.

Judge/Mr. Lynch may be in the same category as Senator Placebo and Dr.
Lyme.

Mark Atwood

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 2:33:49 PM6/6/03
to
Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com> writes:
> lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> wrote in news:bbqjb7$cb2rt$1@ID-
> 90251.news.dfncis.de:
>
> > Just to demonstrate, this English-speaker forgot that I should have
> > included "lynch."
>
> Not so. The derivation from the name of a person is dubious.
>
> Judge/Mr. Lynch may be in the same category as Senator Placebo and Dr.
> Lyme.

John Crapper?

lal_truckee

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 2:51:44 PM6/6/03
to
Dan Goodman wrote:
> lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> wrote in news:bbqjb7$cb2rt$1@ID-
> 90251.news.dfncis.de:
>
>
>>Just to demonstrate, this English-speaker forgot that I should have
>>included "lynch."
>
>
> Not so. The derivation from the name of a person is dubious.
>
> Judge/Mr. Lynch may be in the same category as Senator Placebo and Dr.
> Lyme.

Merriam-Webster: "lynch law":
Etymology: William Lynch died 1820 American vigilante

later shortened to the verb form "lynch"

David Bilek

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 3:03:21 PM6/6/03
to
Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com> wrote:
>lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> wrote in news:bbqjb7$cb2rt$1@ID-
>90251.news.dfncis.de:
>
>> Just to demonstrate, this English-speaker forgot that I should have
>> included "lynch."
>
>Not so. The derivation from the name of a person is dubious.
>
>Judge/Mr. Lynch may be in the same category as Senator Placebo and Dr.
>Lyme.

Dr. Lyme?

It's well known that Lyme Disease is named for Lyme, Connecticut. Is
this in dispute somewhere?

-David

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 3:02:36 PM6/6/03
to
In article <Xns93918E4268D...@209.98.13.60>,

Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com> wrote:
>>
>> Depends: c.f. ponzi, quisling, boycott
>
>Their names live on -- but how many people know anything about _them_?

Well, I know who Quisling was. The others probably date from
further back.

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com
http://www.kithrup.com/~djheydt

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 3:03:43 PM6/6/03
to
In article <bbqjb7$cb2rt$1...@ID-90251.news.dfncis.de>,

lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Michael Stemper wrote:
>> I'd bet that most English-speakers today aren't aware that
>> these words refer to real people. In fact, I didn't know that about
>> "boycott".
>
>Just to demonstrate, this English-speaker forgot that I should have
>included "lynch."

ObSF: Gully Foyle: "Are you going to turn my name into a
household word, like 'lynch' and 'boycott'?"

Mike Schilling

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 3:34:53 PM6/6/03
to
Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com> wrote:
> >lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> wrote in news:bbqjb7$cb2rt$1@ID-
> >90251.news.dfncis.de:
> >
> >> Just to demonstrate, this English-speaker forgot that I should have
> >> included "lynch."
> >
> >Not so. The derivation from the name of a person is dubious.
> >
> >Judge/Mr. Lynch may be in the same category as Senator Placebo and Dr.
> >Lyme.

You're just being silly. Placebo is an Olympic skiier, not a Senator.


Chris Byler

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 4:06:09 PM6/6/03
to
On Fri, 6 Jun 2003 19:03:43 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
wrote:

>In article <bbqjb7$cb2rt$1...@ID-90251.news.dfncis.de>,
>lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>Michael Stemper wrote:
>>> I'd bet that most English-speakers today aren't aware that
>>> these words refer to real people. In fact, I didn't know that about
>>> "boycott".
>>
>>Just to demonstrate, this English-speaker forgot that I should have
>>included "lynch."
>
>ObSF: Gully Foyle: "Are you going to turn my name into a
>household word, like 'lynch' and 'boycott'?"

Curses! Foyled again!

--
Chris Byler cby...@vt.edu
"Between justice and genocide there is, in the long run, no middle
ground." -- Lois McMaster Bujold (Aral Vorkosigan)

Chris Byler

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 4:06:09 PM6/6/03
to
On Fri, 6 Jun 2003 19:02:36 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
wrote:

>In article <Xns93918E4268D...@209.98.13.60>,


>Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> Depends: c.f. ponzi, quisling, boycott

Also lynch, bowdlerize, maverick.

Does anyone use "ponzi" as a word? "Ponzi scheme", maybe, but "ponzi"
alone?

>>Their names live on -- but how many people know anything about _them_?
>
>Well, I know who Quisling was. The others probably date from
>further back.

But you probably do know something about the original people behind
caesarean sections, christianity, and maybe even platonic solids (or
platonic love affairs). All of which are much older than the above
examples.

Mark Atwood

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 4:25:40 PM6/6/03
to
cby...@REMOVE-TO-REPLY.vt.edu (Chris Byler) writes:
> On Fri, 6 Jun 2003 19:02:36 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
> wrote:
>
> >In article <Xns93918E4268D...@209.98.13.60>,
> >Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Depends: c.f. ponzi, quisling, boycott
>
> Also lynch, bowdlerize, maverick.

"German Chocolate Cake" was originally "German's Chocolate Cake",
named after a Mr. German.

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 4:49:01 PM6/6/03
to
In article <m38ysfd...@khem.blackfedora.com>,
Mark Atwood <m...@pobox.com> wrote:

>"German Chocolate Cake" was originally "German's Chocolate Cake",
>named after a Mr. German.

Really? Well, hooray for him. (Even though I can't eat it any
more.)

Do you know anything about the derivation of Black Forest Cake?

Dorothy J. Heydt
(which I can't eat any more either....)

lal_truckee

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 5:28:39 PM6/6/03
to
Dorothy J Heydt wrote:
> In article <m38ysfd...@khem.blackfedora.com>,
> Mark Atwood <m...@pobox.com> wrote:
>
>
>>"German Chocolate Cake" was originally "German's Chocolate Cake",
>>named after a Mr. German.
>
>
> Really? Well, hooray for him. (Even though I can't eat it any
> more.)
>
> Do you know anything about the derivation of Black Forest Cake?

Ms. Helen Forest and Mr. Archibald Black came from the future to help
their ancestors live better; for in the future the FDA was willing to
admit that chocolate was 1) non-fattening, 2) the secret of eternal life.

Somehow they misjudged both time and place, and ended up in one of the
least desirable epochs. Their concoction was co-opted by the Hitler
Youth Cooking School located in the eponyomous forest and, while they
were soon forgotten, their cocoction lives on in finer health food
stores everywhere.

r.a.sf.w

Lawrence Watt-Evans

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 5:28:05 PM6/6/03
to
On 06 Jun 2003 11:33:49 -0700, Mark Atwood <m...@pobox.com> wrote:

>Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com> writes:
>> lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> wrote in news:bbqjb7$cb2rt$1@ID-
>> 90251.news.dfncis.de:
>>
>> > Just to demonstrate, this English-speaker forgot that I should have
>> > included "lynch."
>>
>> Not so. The derivation from the name of a person is dubious.
>>
>> Judge/Mr. Lynch may be in the same category as Senator Placebo and Dr.
>> Lyme.
>
>John Crapper?

Thomas Crapper was a real person, a 19th-century British plumbing
contractor. He did not invent the flush toilet, though. The word
"crap" is much, much older; it's cognate to "scrap" and really just
means any kind of waste material.

Never heard of John Crapper.

Senator Placebo is definitely fictional.

Who's Dr. Lyme supposed to be?


David Bilek

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 5:45:31 PM6/6/03
to

Lyme Disease. Except that it was named for Lyme, Connecticut and I've
never heard anyone attribute it to a "Dr. Lyme".

How about "Otto Titzlinger"?

-David

Karl M Syring

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 5:46:49 PM6/6/03
to
Dorothy J Heydt wrote on Fri, 6 Jun 2003 20:49:01 GMT:
> In article <m38ysfd...@khem.blackfedora.com>,
> Mark Atwood <m...@pobox.com> wrote:
>
>>"German Chocolate Cake" was originally "German's Chocolate Cake",
>>named after a Mr. German.
>
> Really? Well, hooray for him. (Even though I can't eat it any
> more.)
>
> Do you know anything about the derivation of Black Forest Cake?

Well, it was invented by one Mr. Forest Black.

Karl M. Syring

Craig Richardson

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 5:41:12 PM6/6/03
to
On Fri, 6 Jun 2003 20:49:01 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
wrote:

>In article <m38ysfd...@khem.blackfedora.com>,


>Mark Atwood <m...@pobox.com> wrote:
>
>>"German Chocolate Cake" was originally "German's Chocolate Cake",
>>named after a Mr. German.
>
>Really? Well, hooray for him. (Even though I can't eat it any
>more.)
>
>Do you know anything about the derivation of Black Forest Cake?

AFAICT, the obvious origin is, unfortunately, correct in this case.

Of course, by last month's ECJ ruling, it must now be known as "Black
Forest Style" cake, unless it is actually baked and packaged in the
Schwarzwald...

--Craig


--
Managing the Devil Rays is something like competing on "Iron Chef",
and having Chairman Kaga reveal a huge ziggurat of lint.
Gary Huckabay, Baseball Prospectus Online, August 21, 2002

Sean O'Hara

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 6:09:58 PM6/6/03
to
In the Year of the Goat, the Great and Powerful Michael Stemper
declared...

> In article <bbo3cq$bd9fn$1...@ID-90251.news.dfncis.de>, lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> writes:
> >Mike Schilling wrote:
>
> >> Yup, Pinero would still be famous thousands of years later. Of course.
> >
> >Depends: c.f. ponzi, quisling, boycott
>
> "Quisling" goes back to WWII, or about 60 years. "Ponzi", unless I miss
> my guess, goes back to the Roaring Twenties, or about 80 years. Merriam-
> Webster says that "boycott" goes back to 1880, or about 120 years. None
> of these are particularly supportive of a person being remembered for
> millenia. I'd bet that most English-speakers today aren't aware that
> these words refer to real people. In fact, I didn't know that about
> "boycott".
>
Well then, how about Jezebel -- rather minor figure in the history
of a defunct kingdom who happened to become a character in a
popular work of historical fiction.


--
Sean O'Hara
Alex: A dwarf is someone who has disproportionately short arms
and legs.... A midget is still a dwarf but their arms and legs
are in proportion.
Gareth: So... what’s an elf? --The Office

Mike Schilling

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 6:40:21 PM6/6/03
to

"Sean O'Hara" <darkerthenightth...@myrealbox.com> wrote in
message news:MPG.194adb3cd...@news.cis.dfn.de...


> Well then, how about Jezebel -- rather minor figure in the history
> of a defunct kingdom who happened to become a character in a
> popular work of historical fiction.

As Asimov points out in _The Caves of Steel_, people misremember her as
being a loose woman rather than an idolater.


John M. Gamble

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 6:43:38 PM6/6/03
to
In article <bbo3cq$bd9fn$1...@ID-90251.news.dfncis.de>,
lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Mike Schilling wrote:
>> Another one: what do you call it where the characters in a series know far
>> more about previous events in the series than makes sense. The best (worst)
>> example that comes to mind is from _Time Enough for Love_:
>>
>> Lazarus: Once I went to see a man who claimed to be able to measure how
>> long you'd live.
>> Ishtar (or Hamadryad, or one of the others. Doesn't matter): Pinero the
>> charlatan?

>>
>> Yup, Pinero would still be famous thousands of years later. Of course.
>
>Depends: c.f. ponzi, quisling, boycott
>

Or if someone wrote a very good play about him (come to think, it
would make a good tragedy in the right hands). Would anyone know
about an obscure dust-up in Scotland were it not for the play
Macbeth?

--
-john

February 28 1997: Last day libraries could order catalogue cards
from the Library of Congress.

John Schilling

unread,
Jun 6, 2003, 6:47:49 PM6/6/03