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#3431 - 06/16/00 12:19 AM Is there a word for...
Jesse Fuchs Offline

Registered: 06/16/00
Posts: 1
a word that is only used to make fun of people who supposedly use the word, but actually don't? I didn't articulate that very well, so let me provide an example:

"Although many people believe 'gay' simply meant lighthearted or cheerful until it was shanghaied by the preverts, the truth is..." - Cecil Adams, More of the Straight Dope, p.271

I've actually seen "preverts" used in other places, in the exact same manner, but, of course, I've never seen it used seriously. Are there other mock-words like this, or a word for this kind of word?

#3432 - 06/16/00 02:00 AM Re: Is there a word for...
jmh Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>Is there a word ...

Irony, I was going to say sympathetic irony but I realised from the context that it could have been unsympathetic.

I don't know if there is a better word. For example how would you describe the current usage of the word "sad"?

The flippant answer is "sad".

Footnote: I've just done what they always say to do in exams - "Read the Question first!" I missed the intervention of Mrs Malaprop.

I thought you were refering to the fact that people sometimes turn a word which could be construed as an insult, back into a word which is used by the group to describe themselves (this is the case with the un-malaproped version of the word you originally posted).... if anyone knows what I'm rambling on about ...

#3433 - 06/16/00 07:35 AM Re: Is there a word for...
paulb Offline

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Jesse, I'm sure this is the word that is mispronounced by Sterling Hayden's character in Kubrick's Dr Strangelove. The film society I'm involved with is screening this film on 25 June, so I'll be able to check.

#3434 - 06/16/00 11:17 AM Re: Is there a word for...
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
Colonel "Bat" Guano (Keenan Wynn) to Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers): I think you're some kind of deviated prevert. I think General Ripper found out about your preversion, and that you were organizing some kind of mutiny of preverts. Now MOVE!!

This usage by Kubrick (or the novelist Peter George, I don't know who gets credit) could be termed, I think, acyrologia, in terms of Rhetoric; but is more popularly known as a malaprop.

#3435 - 06/17/00 07:57 AM Re: Is there a word for...
paulb Offline

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Thanks for the confirmation, tsuwm. I'm looking forward to enjoying the film again with an audience -- it's a public screening with a 35mm print.

#3436 - 06/25/00 06:47 AM Re: Is there a word for...
paulb Offline

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Hi, tsuwm (and interested others). I've just returned home from the Dr Strangelove screening (nearly full house!). Good to see it again on the big screen (as they say) after many years. And Keenan Wynn's lines about 'preverts' had a special resonance after posts in this thread. Next month, Casablanca!

#3437 - 06/29/00 11:12 AM Re: Is there a word for...
Seddonist Offline

Registered: 06/22/00
Posts: 7
Loc: London, England
Sometimes it's fun to use non-existent words to see whether the person you're speaking to will nod understandingly. For example: 'derile' (emphasis on the first syllable) "I found the play unbearably derile in places, Rupert."


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