As I said before, I lay claim to introducing the use of the term “going emeritus” to the climate change wars. And you’re not allowed to use it without attribution.


  1. #1 Eli Rabett

    Not even close

    [My trademark is on the phrase “gone / going emeritus”, not on the use of the raw word -W]

  2. #2 Michael Tobis

    Woot! Who me?

    I definitely and happily concede the term to William. Oddly, I have been accused of originating it before, when in fact I merely quoted it.

    It’s a lovely turn of phrase but not the sort of thing my own wits would come up with.

    I intend to forward all royalties on the phrase to William.

    [I look forward to a comfortable retirement. Though I in turn may need to pay off Jack Vance -W]

  3. #3 Eli Rabett

    Seriously, go read the thread. The best of USENET or pretty damn close

  4. #4 JamesG

    So what’s the term for extrapolating wildly beyond even the IPCC’s pessimistic worst-case scenarios then claiming that 99% of scientists or everyone who isn’t insane fully agrees with you.

    And what’s the term for announcing your latest paper in a press release (often before it’s published or even peer-reviewed) full of pseudo-scientific, overpessimistic babble that bears little or no heed to the huge caveats and guesswork in the work it’s supposed to be based on.

    And what’s the term for scientists who observe such blatant over-promotion and who either remain silent or fully encourage it.

    [Probably best to be more specific as I’m not sure what you mean -W]

  5. #5 Robert Grumbine

    Hmm. You might have to pay a sublet fee to someone. I’m pretty sure that in my reading of 1940s-50s science fiction, I came across ‘gone emeritus’ used in this sense, if not with climate septics as the target.

    [You’re thinking of the wonderful -W]

  6. #6 Alastair McDonald

    Hi W.

    I’ve done a little research and you were not actually the first to use that expression. James Annan used it here the year before you quote.

    [Nope, it predates that: You know that, because James is quoting in the quote you reference. Unfortuneately the link I post in that message doesn’t seem to work any more -W]

    But I don’t think it is a new concept. There is a saying “Professors don’t retire, they just lose their faculties!” [Anon.]

    [But that isn’t the same as “gone emeritus”. The original is “Languages of Pao”, as I keep telling people -W]

    Cheers, Alastair.

  7. #7 Alastair McDonald

    Well there is this comment by you but if you can’t find an older one then you will have to give up your claim. No evidence no proof :-(

  8. #8 Nancy Watkins

    Nope, no no no! My father used the expression “gone emeritus” very wryly way before the date of this book. I tend to think it was a sort of cynical expression he picked up in circles in the late 30’s at Stanford U.., or in NYC subsequently. He was a great litterati and journalist.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.