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#76317 - 07/24/02 07:32 PM Re: Frank Spencer
hev Offline

Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 477
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Frank Spencer (played by Michael Crawford) was the main character in the BBC production "Some mothers do 'ave em", as the bumbling eejit who just couldn't ever seem to get anything right.

Here's an episode synopsis for you:



#76318 - 07/25/02 04:11 AM Re: Some mothers do 'ave 'em!
Rubrick Offline

Registered: 05/18/00
Posts: 679
Loc: Somewhere outside New York
Rubrick, a "Frank Spencer" is exactly the kind of bloke I was trying to think of but couldn't.
I'm sure that if you said, 'He is a real Frank Spencer!', to pretty much anyone over 20 in England, Oz and NZ then
they would know straight away what you're talking about. He's the theatrical epitome of the kind of person we've
been discussing, no doubt. Well done my son! You've got my vote for that eponym!

Thanks, BY. It was wracking my brains for days....

#76319 - 07/25/02 08:53 AM Re: noun for socially destructive person
FishonaBike Offline

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
You git up, you chaw your bacon, you sit on stumps, think deep bacon-flavored thoughts, you shoot a possum, you drink moonshine, and you pass out cold till the next morning

[sigh] Heaven. [longing-e]

Frank Spencer
Hmmm - closest yet, Rube

Still not exactly right, as Frank Spencer wasn't just socially destructive with his good intentions (there was usually a great deal of physical destruction).

But it'll do for me - this has been driving me mad!

#76320 - 07/25/02 08:57 AM Wherever I go, troubles follow
wofahulicodoc Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 6929
Loc: Worcester, MA
...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

...Any Yiddish speakers here able to help out? seems a likely source for such a word!

I can think of two words that come near but don't quite hit the mark:

-- A dybbik is an evil spirit that inhabits someone's body for a time and does all sorts of mean and nasty things in his/her name, sometimes without being recognized for what it is except for the out-of-character nature of the mean acts. I believe it's Hebrew rather than Yiddish.

-- A kuchleffel (spelling will vary), literally a big cooking spoon, goes around disturbing the status quo ante (cross-thread) and often causing trouble, just because that's what cooking spoons do - stir up the pot and keep things boiling.

Maybe "kuchleffel" is the closest to the orignal query, though it doesn't quite catch the inevitablity of the strife, or perhaps the degree of disruption, either.

#76321 - 07/26/02 01:52 PM Re: noun for socially destructive person
Eyes I Knew Offline

Registered: 07/26/02
Posts: 5
Loc: Arlington VA
How about "provocateur" ... though not necessarily of the "agent" variety?

One whose existence facilitates others getting into trouble.

#76322 - 07/26/02 02:16 PM Re: noun for socially destructive person
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Some wonderful ideas especially the last one - WELCOME Eyes I Knew -- But help me out here, isn't the described behaviour what is called "passive aggressive?"
Been a long time since my Psych 101 class (1948 precisely!)
Oh! how about "agitant" - a person who causes agitation. (OED)

#76323 - 07/30/02 12:03 PM I've got it!
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Though if yomintz will ever see this, I don't know. This is at the beginning of a book a friend suggested I read : "Snow Crash", by Neal Stephenson. (FWIW, it looks as though the book's going to have more social commentary in it than story, but we shall see; I've barely started.) Anyway, on the top of the page where Chapter 1 begins are three dictionary definitions. It's the 3rd one, third def. that is of import here :

VIRUS....[L. virus slimy liquid, poison, offensive odour or taste.] 1. Venom, such as is emitted by a poisonous animal. 2. Path: a. A morbid principle or poisonous substance produced in the body as the result of some disease, esp. one capable of being introduced into other persons or animals by inoculations or otherwise and of developing the same disease in them... 3. fig A moral or intellectual poison, or poisonous influence.
---The Oxford English Dictionary

#76324 - 07/30/02 02:28 PM Snow Crash
Hyla Offline

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 544
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Snow Crash had some story, but it was a bit hokey. Ctyptonomicon, by the same author, is a much more thoughtful, involving book with a far more compelling set of story lines (WWII and modern day), and some very cool discussion of codes and cryptography.

#76325 - 07/30/02 02:51 PM Re: Stephenson
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
I love that book, Hyla, and your cryptic rendering of its title.

#76326 - 07/30/02 04:25 PM Re: passive aggressive
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
I agree with wow. "Passive aggressive" describes the behavior of someone on the sidelines fomenting disturbances.

I also like the 3rd meaning of "virus" that Jackie posted.

Not as good, but in the general category--and certainly one who could manifest negative behaviors either passively or aggressively--is the spoilsport. Have we mentioned the spoilsport yet in this thread? It's not really what we're looking for, but I think it at least belongs in the discussion to be thrown away as, "No, that's not it at all!"

But passive aggressive? Yes, that's the behavior, by jingo! A passive aggressive virus! And there's no vaccine for viruses, right, Dr. Bill?

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