Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Special Christmas Edition of Random Thoughts on the English Language (#22): Scrooge!

So I was thinking during the recent holiday season that when people use the word "Scrooge" to describe a person, they mean someone who is cold and heartless and money-obsessed and mean and hates Christmas, right?  But wasn't the whole point of the story that he changed his ways. I mean the end of the story says that "It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge."

But apparently because the changed Scrooge is only in the story for a little bit and the vast majority of the story describes him being a miser and a jerk, that's what we've come to associated with the name Scrooge.

Bonus Random Thought: I don't know if Ebenezer was a more popular name in the 1840s when this story was published, but it definitely hasn't increased the number of Ebenezers in modern society.  A quick check of the Baby NameVoyager shows that as far back as they have data Ebenezer's never been in the top 1000 names.

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