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#76267 - 07/17/02 01:04 PM noun for socially destructive person
yomintz Offline
stranger

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 1
Loc: Tucson, AZ
> Can you help me with a word? This a noun for someone who
> innocently joins a group, comes to a party, sits at a
> meeting--whatever--and within minutes has everyone at each other's
> throats. It may be based on a mythical beast or malevolent force.
> The effect is pernicious, malefic, and usually completely innocent on
> the part of the individual who usually sees him- or herself as only
> trying to be 'helpful' and frequently comes out of the situation
> feeling hurt or unappreciated.
>
>
>
>


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#76268 - 07/17/02 01:40 PM Re: noun for socially destructive person
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear yomintz: For a coinage, how about a combination of "caca-" and "catalyst"

Cacacatalyst. or cacocatalyst

Edit replaced v with y

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#76269 - 07/17/02 02:29 PM Re: noun for socially destructive person
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin
That's yomintz to you, Bill.


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#76270 - 07/17/02 02:50 PM Re: noun for socially destructive person
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear belligerentyouth: I have macular degeneration, and even with extra magnification,
I was barely able to see the "tail" on the "y" because underline obscured it.
My apologies to yomintz

Edit: changed "fishonabike" to "belligerent youth"


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#76271 - 07/17/02 03:06 PM Re: noun for socially destructive person
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin
To stir up trouble is to cause general discontentment, and some of our Kiwis might lovingly call a person who does this a shit-stirrer. Otherwise you have your mischief-maker, trouble-maker, or incendiary (normally meaning an arsonist). These all mean someone who agitates (or inflames:-) factions and/or promotes quarrels. That's pretty close. That is to say, an 'incendiary' doesn't necessaryily willfully promote unrest, as far as I know.
Many comparisons to animals are popular for the kind of people you're talking about - a snake in the grass, or a viper, serpent; these are pretty general, but nonetheless have an exact meaning when used in context.
I'm sure there is some term from Greek or Roman mythology if that's what you're looking for, I just don't know it. Only a harpy, Furies, or a Siren come to mind, none of which fit too well. That's the best I can do.


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#76272 - 07/17/02 03:24 PM Re: noun for socially destructive person
modestgoddess Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 833
Loc: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Hey by, I think yomintz is looking for a noun that incorporates what you've suggested, but without the malice aforethought - someone who has this ill effect unintentionally, perhaps. "Well-meaning snake-in-the-grass" doesn't have quite the right ring to it....Isn't yomintz looking for a noun to describe someone who brings strife but doesn't realize it, and is then surprised and hurt by the reaction he causes? Bill's attempt with "catalyst" is good, but I think there must be a word or phrase that's in more common use....Perhaps something incorporating the word "innocent"?

PS to Bill: I DON'T have macular degeneration and I also thought, at first, that the handle was "vomintz"!

Let us go in peace to love and serve the board.

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#76273 - 07/17/02 03:40 PM Re: noun for socially destructive person
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
This isn't what yomintz is looking for, but it is a word that came to mind:

party-pooper

Ball regards,
WordWaltzer Hey, a ball is as close as I could get to a party with the requisite letter "b" and it worked well with the "w" for waltz. So be a party-pooper and shoot me!


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#76274 - 07/17/02 03:46 PM Re: noun for socially destructive person
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
Hmmm... we had one of those on this board for many months.

How about "sociopath," or is that a wee bit too strong?

EDIT:

I realize now that my suggestion is not germane. The supposition is that the perpetrator had no motive, unlike the situation previously seen on this board.

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#76275 - 07/17/02 04:48 PM Re: noun for socially destructive person
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
Dear fishonabike

Oops, weren't me, Bill! Don't know if I should be honoured or dismayed at being seen as a belligerentyouth. Honoured, I think, looking at the "youth" part.

I'm almost positive yomintz is correct in thinking there is a specific term for someone who gets everybody at everybody else's throats without meaning to do so. I also think it is a mythical term... or maybe biblical.

Ah! Is it a Jonah? That's more someone who brings bad luck to all around them, but it's certainly in the right direction.

Fisk


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#76276 - 07/17/02 05:09 PM Re: noun for socially destructive person
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin
> Jonah

I almost wrote of poor Jonah too, who when refusing to become a prophet was washed off his boat and out to sea, only to be swallowed by a whale, and finally later vomited (sic - literally) out to safety. I couldn't see that being what our friend was looking for though, so I scratched that idea. As you said though Fisk - the right direction:-)

Perhaps there is a medical name (beides side-effect) for unintentional negative effects caused by a drug that would be useful....
[clutching at straws]


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