The word "fan" (not in the sense of ventilating device)
Thread poster: George Trail

George Trail  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:44
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
May 15, 2010

Like most people, I heard the word "fan" a lot as a teenager; mostly to designate those who claim a conscious fondness of certain singers and other celebrities, or a particular trend. For example: "I have always been a fan of Girls Aloud because I find that theirs is such great music to dance to - but they definitely have heart as well, there's no doubt about that."

That's "fan" in the traditional sense of the word; but it's a word to which, in context, can be attached a definite sense of disingenuity that attracts derision. I think you know what I'm talking about. For example, dressing like your favourite rock star on principle is not a sign that you understand them or their music. I'm sure most of us are able to label someone who, in their statements that they are a fan of someone, is more likely to embarrass the people they so look up to than to, you know, endear themselves to them - and then there are those whose attachment to someone has left them with views of the world around them that were literally enough to ruin their lives.

All of us agree that "fan" is essentially a "good" word: evoking a sense of one being positively inspired by the work and / or acts of someone else, which is exactly what that person would have wanted; and what could be better than that? But, speaking as both a linguist and a philanthropist, I won't deny my feeling compelled to ask: is "fan" really short for "fanatic"? Was that the case from the very beginning?

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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 09:44
English to Czech
+ ...
Yes, it undoubtedly is May 17, 2010

But, speaking as both a linguist and a philanthropist, I won't deny my feeling compelled to ask: is "fan" really short for "fanatic"?

A short survey in the etymology dictionary would reveal that it is. Although I must agree, I am ashamed of using such awful, old-fashioned ways of research such as consulting dictionaries without thinking about the problems at hand for a longer period of time...

[end of sarcasm...]

[Upraveno: 2010-05-17 15:50 GMT]

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The word "fan" (not in the sense of ventilating device)

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