alt.usage.english for some help. One hopes.<BR>>><BR>>> On 05 May 2005, Kris Krieger wrote (in alt.architecture)<BR>>><BR>>> > Nimrod was a mighty hunter, strong, swift, and wily, in Greek (I<BR>>>
> think it was Greek) mythology.<BR>>> ><BR>>> > What I
can't figure out is, How and when did the name come to be<BR>>> > used
to designate unthinking silly people?<BR>> <BR>> It just sounds bad to be
called a nimrod. It's like Tookie, Charle Amirault<BR>> was sent to
prison in the Fells Acres child molestation case more on his<BR>> nickname
"Tookie" than on any evedidence the State had. Some names and<BR>>
words just sound bad.<BR>> <BR>Agreed on the sound. Yahoo thinks it was
Bugs who was the proximate cause of his downfall, and briefly discusses his
href="http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20040211.html ">http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20040211.html </A>
CDB, would you mind changing your settings? This causes a big
HTML-code-visible section at the end, for some of us.
There's a short answer in the AUE FAQ:
Sorry to disagree, but I'm never convinced by arguments appealing to
sound. The associations are much more likely to go the other direction.
Too many people will rave about what a beautiful word "melody" is, for
example, but "malady"? Hah.
In this case, "ramrod" occurs to me as a likely comparison. Does calling
a man a "ramrod" sound like calling him a fool?
No. Being used sarcastically and cuttingly and insultingly is what makes
"nimrod" sound bad.
To see ironic uses even earlier than Bugs Bunny, see Ben Zimmer's post:
[snip HTML garbage]
Because I'm talking about similarity of sound, of course. You don't
notice the similarity in sound between ramrod and nimrod?
If you could suggest another six-letter word ending in "-mrod," I'm sure
it would do just as well.
Exactly my point. We attaach different meanings and connotations, not
due to the pure sound, but because of the history of use. "Ramrod" has a
whole different set of associations.
"Nimrod" has become an insult, but not because "n-i-m-r-o-d" inherently
makes an insulting noise, but because people use that noise insultingly.
I'm quite sure it began as sarcasm along the lines of "Nimrod was a
mighty hunter, but you're not," much the same way people might jeeringly
call one another "Samson" or "Solomon" or "Superman."
By the way, "Nimrod" was apparently a brand name for a line of camping
tent-trailers in the middle of the 20th century. That's what my husband
associates with the word.
I have heard that using HTML causes a problem, but don't know of any
other way to attach a link to the message. If anyone can tell me how,
I'll be delighted to do it right. I have Outlook Express.
"Maladie d'amour, maladie des amoureux...", c'est pas-mal beau.
Certainly, it's a very subjective thing, and maybe also subtler than
just comparing mrods. /&m/ doesn't produce the same impression at all
as /Im/, IMO. As well, it may be not so much the intrinsic effect of
those sounds as the degree to which they lend themselves to vigorous
utterance. You couldn't give much such oomph to, say, "Sis", though
you could hiss it effectively. As Judge Lieblich has suggested
downthread, association with other words, like "numbnuts", may also
provide a lot of the perceived sound-effect. Here if ever a general
survey might be useful, but I don't know how one would google it.
I've typed in the URL and highlighted it, switched to HTML, deselected
the link and switched back to plain text to type in the message text.
The link seems to stay a link. I apologize for using this group for a
test, but what I now need to know is whether this dodge eliminates the
annoying HTML section (my reader doesn't show them). CDB
link depends entirely on the software used to read it, and not at all
on that used to post it. Most newsreaders will, if set up to do so,
display any valid URL as a clickable link (anything beginning with
www. being interpreted as it was preceded by http://) so you really
don't need to go through these contortions. What OE shows you while
you are composing the message is irrelevant. What is transmitted is
just text; the "hyperlink" is created at the recipient's end.
Mail to the From: address is not read.
On Thu, 05 May 2005 20:55:49 GMT, Harvey Van Sickle
"Nimrod" - my google search finds 225 "Results"
in alt.usage.english, including Donna's Intro F of the FAQ.
Spread by Bugs Bunny cartoons, if not begun there.
Sorted by Date, that was only 30 Results; which became
40 when I looked at the second set of 20 (plus, 'some
entries very similar to the 40' ...).
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