Wanna Achieve Linguistic Immortality? Not So Fast Cautions Animated NPR Video

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a word? NPR’s Adam Cole has, and he’s written a song about the immortality that comes from having your name turned into a noun. But as his colleague Robert Krulwich points out, many of the people whose names are now in dictionaries would be horrified. Joseph Guillotine, for example, hated the death penalty. And James Thomas Brudenell, seventh earl of Cardigan, must be turning over in his grave: “Here’s a brave cavalry officer, who led the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War, watched his men cut down, butchered by the enemy, a man of action, a soldier, and what do we remember him for,” writes Krulwich on his blog? “Yup, by some trick of fate, he is now a sweater with buttons down the front. I mean, really…”

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