Goldwater Rule: An informal ethical code that prohibits psychiatrists from offering opinions about the mental state of someone they haven’t personally evaluated. The rule has been accepted by the American Psychiatric Association since 1973; officially, it is known as Section 7.3 of the APA’s ethics principles.
The rule is named after Barry Goldwater, the U.S. senator and 1964 Republican presidential candidate whose extreme (for the time) conservative views prompted a survey, published in Fact magazine, in which 12,356 psychiatrists were asked whether Goldwater was mentally fit to serve as president. Almost half of the respondents answered that Goldwater was unfit, “describing him as ‘unbalanced,’ ‘immature,’ ‘paranoid,’ ‘psychotic’ and ‘schizophrenic,’ and questioning his ‘manliness.’”
The rule has been in the news during the current election cycle because of widespread claims, from professionals and laypeople alike, that the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, is psychologically unstable.
In June 2006, George W. Bush was president of the United States, crowdsourcingwas new to the lexicon, a lot of people still called blogs “weblogs,” YouTube was barely seven months old, and the iPhone was still a twinkle in Steve Jobs’s eye.
Also, I began writing this blog.
Ten years! Happy anniversary, me.
I published my first real post (after a throat-clearing one) on June 8, 2006. It was about a nanoparticle of gold that needed a name. I offered some suggestions. My advice was ignored.
I carried on regardless.
Here are a few of my favorite posts from the archives. As an unctuous waiter would say: Enjoy!
I’m over at the Strong Language blog today with a story about a Hollywood recording studio that recorded some of the biggest names of the 1960s and 1970s: the Doors, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Linda Ronstadt. The studio’s own name was the acronym T.T.G., which may have stood for “Two Terrible Guys.” Or it may have stood for a Yiddish-Arabic expression that was considerably swearier.
Sad: Showing, expressing, or causing sorrow or gloom; depressing; inadequate.
Sad is neither new nor obscure: it’s been with us since Old English, and even young children understand at least one of its meanings. But it’s been in the foreground in recent months thanks to a series of tweets published by a front-runner in the U.S. presidential primaries. “I believe we may be witnessing an evolution in the use of that word,” said Mike Vuolo, co-host of the language podcast “Lexicon Valley” in a February episode. If so, it would be only the most recent twist in sad’s long and interesting history.
It seems like only yesterday – it was, in fact, just over two months ago – that linguists and political pundits were parsing schlonged, a derivative of a Yiddish vulgarism for “penis” that had been emitted by presidential front-runner Donald J. Trump in his disparagement of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton (“she got schlonged”).
It turns out that was just a warmup for the current penis-palooza we’re now seeing in commercial and political language. And it’s not just any old male genitalia that are commanding center stage: it’s undersized ones.
Into the final weeks of 2015 with one final link roundup!
Lucy Kellaway,who writes about language and writing for the Financial Times,has created Guffipedia, “a repository for the worst jargon I’ve seen over the years.” All the devils are here: onboard more resource, flex-pon-sive, diverse hairdos, etc. ad nauseam. “The point of Guffipedia,” writes Kellaway, “is not just for you to admire the extent of my guff collection, but to help me curate it going forward, as they say in Guffish.” Good point of entry: the many Guffish euphemisms for you’re fired. (Hat tip: Molly Walker.)
Canadian retailer Kit and Ace – see my post about the company name here – is adding coffee shops to its boutiques: The first Sorry Coffee opens tomorrow in Toronto. “Sorry” can mean “worthless” or “inferior,” but here it’s “an attempt to poke fun at Canadians — a winking nod to the quick-to-apologize stereotype,” co-founder J.J. Wilson toldthe Star. Be sure to pronounce it the Canadian way: SORE-ee.