Okay, has anyone else every heard this word? Because it is a new one to me. For those similarly in the dark, a teetotaler is one who abstains absolutely from alcohol. Recently, it has come to be used by some to mean all recreational intoxicants. Wikipedia had this to say about the strange etymology:

One anecdote attributes the origin of the word to a meeting of the Preston Temperance Society in 1832 or 1833. This society was founded by Joseph Livesey, who was to become a leader of the temperance movement and the author of The Pledge: “We agree to abstain from all liquors of an intoxicating quality whether ale, porter, wine or ardent spirits, except as medicine.” The story attributes the word to Dicky Turner, a member of the society, who had a stammer, and in a speech said that nothing would do but “tee-tee-total abstinence”.

A more likely explanation is that teetotal is simply a repetition of the ‘T’ in total (T-total). It is said that as early as 1827 in some Temperance Societies signing a ‘T’ after one’s name signified one’s pledge for total abstinence.[1] In England in the 1830s, when the word first entered the lexicon, it was also used in other contexts as an emphasized form of total; in this context, the word is still used, but predominantly in the southern United States.

This strange word comes from In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, whose book is amazing. I’ll save further discussion for Step Lightly in the coming weeks.

Also, would someone pleaaaase read my previous post and give me some thoughts about fried foods? Thanks!


4 Responses to “Teetotalers”

  1. Doug Says:

    What do you want a comment on?? what is considered fried food or your decision to Lent? 🙂

  2. Zack Says:

    Yes, exactly that.

  3. Doug Says:

    I would assume that based on the definitions below you mean number one, which would seem to indicate that Chinese food is fried when cooked in a wok

    1. cooked in a pan or on a griddle over direct heat, usually in fat or oil.
    2. Slang.
    a. drunk; inebriated.
    b. intoxicated from drugs; high.
    c. exhausted or incapacitated through intemperance; burned-out.

  4. Doug Says:

    as to you effort at Lenting I am still trying to get my mind around secular lenting??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: