Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 18:28:13 -0400

From: Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALE.EDU

Subject: Re: "Privilege" as a Verb

On Fri, 25 Jul 1997, Ron Butters wrote:

I'm still troubled about that "Marxist" label--most of the citations that Mr.

Shapiro lists have nothing to do with Marxism that I can see. Perhaps he

would care to clarify his usage?

I searched many databases for early usages of the gerundial form

_privileging_ (this is the only form of the word that really works as a

database search). The majority of the earliest citations I found

(including some I did not send to the list) appear to be from Marxist

contexts. But I may be misinterpreting the evidence; perhaps Marxist

usage was only one of several environments in which this meaning


The 1969 citation I referred to previously turns out, upon inspection, to

not be a clear example of the current vogue usage. The earliest clear

citation I have found is the following:

1979 _Speculum_ 54: 328 Put simply, by privileging one context at the

expense of others we decide how the text's ironies should be read.



+ Fred R. Shapiro Editor +

+ Associate Librarian for Public Services OXFORD DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN +

+ Yale Law School LEGAL QUOTATIONS +

+ e-mail: shapiro[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] (Oxford University Press) +