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From Michael Quinion's weekly newsletter:
quote:
We owe this word to Sir Harold Nicolson, who introduced it to the world in the Spectator magazine in August 1952. In an issue of the same magazine later the same year, he described a doryphore as a "questing prig, who derives intense satisfaction from pointing out the errors of others." [...] In 1996, Herb Caen commented in the San Francisco Chronicle: "For a doryphore, what is more delightful than a mistake in a correction?" (link)

I do miss old Herb Caen. His column and the daily funnies were the two reasons to buy the old SF Chronicle.

[Rewrote final sentence.]

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Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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I remember Herb Caen from my days at UCSF when I read the SF Chronicle on a daily basis. I agree; he was excellent.
 
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Interesting etymology.

From OED Online
quote:
doryphore, n

Also doriphore. [a. F. doryphore Colorado beetle (also used fig.), f. Gr. {delta}{omicron}{rho}{upsilon}{phi}{goacu}{rho}{omicron}{fsigma} spear-carrier.
The English sense was introduced by and particularly associated with Sir Harold Nicolson (1886-1968).]

One who draws attention to the minor errors made by others, esp. in a pestering manner; a pedantic gadfly.
1952 H. NICOLSON in Spectator 22 Aug. 238/1 Often have I tried to supplement my vocabulary by inventing words, such as ‘couth’, or ‘doriphore’, or ‘hypoulic’, feeling that it is the duty as well as the pastime of a professional writer to make two words bloom where only one bloomed before.——in Ibid . 17 Oct. 500/1 The doriphore..is the type of questing prig, who derives intense satisfaction from pointing out the errors of others.
1960—— Age of Reason xii. 223 Boileau was so hurt by this reproof on the part of a female doryphore that he never set foot in Reuilly again.
1960 Daily Tel . 9 Dec. 19/3 The idiomatic implications of such a word as doryphore in his [sc. Sir Harold Nicolson's] own text is left for the ignorant to guess. (It means a Colorado beetle and, hence, a pest.)
1970 Times Lit. Suppl. 4 June 615/3 The editor..must..shrug off the pricks of professional doryphores.
1989 New Yorker 3 Apr. 99/2 When [the editors]..took me to lunch, they were rigidly abstemious, lest they fuddle their minds and give hostages to subsequent doryphores on returning to work.
 
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I know a few doryphores. Wink I am definitely going to start using it.

Tinman, what is the relationship to the Colorado Beetle?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
I remember Herb Caen from my days at UCSF

When were you at UCSF? Did you do your doctorate there?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by tinman:
{delta}{omicron}{rho}{upsilon}{phi}{goacu}{rho}{omicron}{fsigma}


δορυφορος

What the heck is goacu?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by goofy:
quote:
Originally posted by tinman:
{delta}{omicron}{rho}{upsilon}{phi}{goacu}{rho}{omicron}{fsigma}


δορυφορος

What the heck is goacu?


Good question. The OED Online gives the Greek symbols but my computer won't support those. So when I cut and paste them I get a transliteration that I don't always understand. I've figured out some of them, but by no means all. For example, I've come to realize that {amac} means "a with a micron," or, to be more precise, "alpha with a micron." The f in {fsigma} above threw me till I found out that lower case sigma has two forms depending on the position in the word, so the {fsigma} means "final position sigma (from Wikipedia). The "goacu" symbol looks like the letter o with an acute accent, so I'm guessing the last part means "omicron with an acute accent. But what would the G mean? I did find this, if that's any help.

quote:
omicron n the 15th letter in the Greek alphabet (<GOmicron (from Greek o mikron small o; see micro-, omega) , <Gomicron), a short vowel, transliterated as o

English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus Search Collins

I've also seen {giacu}, which I assumes means"iota with an acute accent," but there's that pesky g again.

I would like to understand these transliterations so if any body can explain them, please, let me know. And I fully understand that some of the things I've figured out I may have figured out wrong. If I did, let me know. You won't hurt my feelings by correcting me. And I might even learn something.

I don't understand δορυφορος, either.
 
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δορυφορος (doruphoros) is the just Greek word in question.

Thanks for the explanation. goacu must be "omicron with an acute accent", but the {g} is strange. Maybe to distinguish it from omega. It's even stranger that these abbreviations appear when you copy and paste the Greek text.
 
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OED unicode

(the g is for Greek)

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quote:
Originally posted by Valentine:

(the g is for Greek)

Thanks, Valentine. I had thought of that, but decided that couldn't be it, since lower case alpha with a macron in the OED comes out as {amac}, not {gamac}.

I just realized that the {amac} was Latin, not Greek.

That's a nice site you posted. It has a lot of words I can't understand, such as perispomeni, but I did find out that an oxia was an acute accent.
 
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quote:
When were you at UCSF? Did you do your doctorate there?
I was there a long time ago, neveu...in the late 70s. I did my master's there, and my PhD at Rush College of Nursing in Chicago.
quote:
I would like to understand these transliterations so if any body can explain them, please, let me know.
Tinman, perhaps you'd like to join us in our Linguistics 101 course?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by zmježd, quoting Michael Quinion's weekly newsletter:
We owe this word [doryphore] to Sir Harold Nicolson, who introduced it to the world in the Spectator magazine in August 1952.
I bet that Sir Harold got the 1952 word from a 1947 novel by Upton Sinclair (titled Presidential Mission).
    . . .“What I wish,” declared Denis fervently, “is to drive the Nazi doryphores out of France, and indeed off the earth.”
    . . .Très bien!” agreed the American. “But tell me, what is a doryphore?"
    . . .“Oh, you haven’t heard that? A doryphore is a potato bug, and we apply it to the Germans because they demand and get nearly all of the French potato crop. In our food-saving campaigns we send the school-children out to pick the bugs off the plants, and they have had the bright idea of carrying signs reading 'Mort aux doryphores!' The Germans can do nothing about that, so it gives delight to our people, who have not yet been entirely deprived of their sense of mischief.”
This particular bug was apt in another way: it was invading species spreading across Europe. From a 1922 outbreak in Bordeaux, it had spread throughout France and into Belgium, Spain, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and Italy.

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I bet that Sir Harold got the 1952 word from a 1947 novel by Upton Sinclair

Good find, shu. I do hope you'll send it along to Quinion.


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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
I know a few doryphores. Wink I am definitely going to start using it.

Only a few?
quote:
Tinman, what is the relationship to the Colorado Beetle?

I think Shu answered your question in his July 28 post. The Colorado beetle, or Colorado potato beetle, is the one the quote referred to in his quote.

Doryphore derives from the former scientific name, Doryphora decemlineata, now Leptinotarsa decemlineata. Thomas Nuttall discovered the beetle in 18ll, but it wasn't described until 1824 by John Say from specimens he collected from buffalo-bur, Solanum rostratum. Around 1859 it began to destroy potato plants and began it's march toward the Atlantic. It was originally just called "potato beetle," the "Colorado" being added in 1867 by C.V. Riley because he thought the beetle originated in Colorado. It's now thought (by some) to have originated in central Mexico. The beetle made it to the Atlantic coast by 1974. Somehow,it made it's way to Britain by 1877. I'm guessing it was a stowaway in ship's ballast (soil was used for ballast at that time). The beetle caused a panic wherever it went, and Britain was no exception. The "Beetle Mania" (not to be confused with "Beatle Mania") link below leads to about three paragraphs of an an intriguing article. Unfortunately, it's a subscription service, so I couldn't read the rest of it.

It made it's way from the U.S. to France by 1922, and marched through Europe. The Nazis claimed U.S. military planes dropped them on Germany during World War II.

All this from a cute little bug.

Doryphora is also a current plant genus. Doryphora sassafrass, an Australian rain forest plant, apparently has medicinal uses.

Sources:

 
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I particularly liked reading about beetle mania. This is probably a stupid question (and I don't agree with teachers who say, "There are no stupid questions!"), but here goes: I imagine this isn't the case, but the Beatle Mania of the '60s didn't evolve from beetle mania, did it? [Now you can all laugh at me!]
 
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K,

The History Today subtitle refers to 'beetle-mania' in quotes, so I'd guess that's a phrase chosen by the author with a nod and a wink to 'Beatle mania', rather than the other way round.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Here are some other manias you might or might not have:
http://phrontistery.info/mania.html
Don't forget the tulip-mania in 1600s Netherlands


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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I particularly like
quote:
sophomania delusion that one is incredibly intelligent and
tomomania irrational predilection for performing surgery


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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