[Paleopsych] Re: Guardian Special: The World in 2020 (fwd)

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Thu Sep 30 13:40:15 UTC 2004

Are you saying the word dystopia is unfamiliar to you? If so, I'm very 
surprised. The OED (2 ed, 1980) gives the first usage, possibly coinage, 
to John Stuart Mill in _Hansard Commons_ in 1868. Later quotations are 
given from 1952, 1962, 1967, and 1968.

Bentham coined cacotopia as the imagined seat of the worst government in 
1818. A kakistocracy, from 1829, is government by the worst, a coinage not 
unnoticed when Michael Dukakis was running for the Presidency.

Eutopia, the original spelling of Utopia, comes from Tom More's classic of 

On 2004-09-30, James Guest opined [message unchanged below]:

> At 01:47 PMWednesday 29/09/2004 -0400, Premise Checker wrote:
>> Guardian Special: The World in 2020
>> [Many articles from the past three Saturdays in the (London, formerly 
>> Manchester) Guardian, that is, 2004 Saturday 11, 18, and 25. There may be 
>> more to come. Something for everyone, though not everyone will like every 
>> development! This is very long and may get truncated at some sites, in case 
>> you are reading it there. If that happens, I can simply e-mail the series 
>> (so far at least, that is). Let me know.]
> For  some reason I did know that "utopia" was derived from the Greek for "no 
> place" but your note has drawn attention to a usage that I have not hitherto 
> questioned, namely "dystopia", formed no doubt on the lines of "dyslogistic" 
> for which one could so easily substitute the simple "pejorative"  - and 
> "dysfunctional" which seems to mix Greek and Latin elements in a way which 
> ought to offend purists.  (I believe the Greeks didn't punctuate, any more 
> than the Romans did.  It occurs to me that the loss of inflexions must have 
> had quite a lot to do with the rise of  punctuation in the linguistically 
> decadent heirs to Latin. Not everyone being a Hemingway. So to speak).
> JG

More information about the paleopsych mailing list