Thursday, August 06, 2009

Glenn Beck: Choose Research, not Gossip

The Gossip
Indie band Gossip

This morning, in a throw away to a break, Glenn spouted the little gem that the origin of the word gossip comes from kings needing to know what the people were thinking, and so sent their minions to pubs and taverns with the instructions to "go sip" here or there. And that turned into "gossip."

Right. And back then most weddings happened in June because people bathed once a year in May...

Anyone who has been on the internet more than five minutes should know that research into historical or etymological claims is a necessity. And when you have a paid research staff, foolish errors like this make you look silly.

From Word Detective, just for Glenn:
The appeal of such stories is said to be that they "make sense," but the actual origin of "gossip" makes just as much sense even if it takes a bit longer to explain. In Old English, a "godsibb" was a godmother or godfather, a person's sponsor at baptism, from "god" plus "sib," meaning "relative" (related to our modern "sibling"). Eventually "godsib" acquired the broader meaning of "close friend" of either sex, although most often a woman. Since close friends share intimate secrets and news, "gossip" (as it was spelled by the 15th century) came to mean "one who indulges in idle chatter or rumors," and the modern sense of labeling someone a "gossip" was born. The use of "gossip" to mean the rumors themselves is more recent, appearing in the 19th century.

An ounce of prevention...

And here's Gossip's "Heavy Cross"

1 comment:

Randal Graves said...

You had to bring up facts. Now you're just going to make Glenn cry.