[lit-ideas] Savvy

  • From: david ritchie <profdritchie@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2015 20:24:09 -0800

People are quiet when I post my contributions. These do appear often, the
contribs. Not the responses. I do hope I have not become annoying. As one
ages—let the record show that I have not become really serious about that
particular project yet— such issues become harder to assess. Of course the
list is largely composed of old fogies, so why worry?

To business. I have recently wondered whether a history of the word “savvy”
would be a good subject to investigate. It seems to me the epitome of an
Englishman lost in foreign parts and assuming that if the French are foreign,
all else must be similarly foreign. How often have we seen in imperial movies
the young soldier asking, “Savvy?” From savoir. And then comes the twist.
The exclamation of a lost soul, “savvy,” becomes, “he or she understands and is
fluent in what I regard to be foreign.”

That person is “savvy” in computers.

Surely this is a topic for those who are savvy in phil and lit?

David Ritchie,
who finally defeated “auto-correct” in
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