Sunday, June 18, 2017

I Was Wrong

I have asserted in a few places, and perhaps here, that the term Alt-Right was generic and a bit vague, referring to all nonstandard conservatism.  I took this from my understanding that internet discussion groups in the 90's described as alt-religion could include Wiccans, Buddhists, and Scientologists; that alt-sex could include transgender, bestiality, and a bunch of stuff I'm not mentioning.  I thought of alt-right as much the same, that paleocons, some libertarians, monarchists, and anything not currently popular could hold that title.

It turns out that this is not so.  According to John Derbyshire, Paul Gottfried coined the term, and while it may not be precise in definition, it is much closer to the popular conception (minus the insults and exaggerations, of course) than to what I was thinking.  Sorry if I have misled or confused you in any way.


Sam L. said...

For me, Alt-right is still pretty generic, but I have to admit there's pretty-much everything I don't know about it.

Grim said...

I thought you were correct, having independently come to the same error in folk-etymology. It sounded like a Usenet discussion group. :)

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I still think the usenet definition should be the real one. It has a nice historical symmetry to it. But even if the rest of the world adopted a meaning for stupid reasons, that's how language has always worked and I have to strive to be understood.